NZ consumers optimistic ahead of Christmas


Christmas, present, shopping, giftNew Zealand consumer confidence is near a four-year high in the lead up to Christmas, an all-important period for retailers.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index increased one point to 129.4 in December, the highest level since January 2010.

Seasonally-adjusted, the measure is at its highest level since February 2007.

Of the 1,063 people surveyed, 39 per cent thought it was a good time to buy big ticket items, up from 33 per cent in November, offering hope for retailers suffering margin squeezes as they battle for market share by discounting prices.

The current conditions index rose 2.4 points to 123.8, a six-year high, and the future conditions index edged up 0.1 of a point to 133.2.

“Both augur well for the Christmas shopping period and also the wider economy,” ANZ New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in his report.

The survey is “telling us something about the economic expansion we’re in: it has real legs and further to run”.

Combined with business confidence surveys, Friday’s report signals potential growth of five per cent or more, something Mr Bagrie said looked like a stretch.

Nine per cent of respondents said they were better off financially now than a year ago, down from 10 per cent in November, and an unchanged 37 per cent expect to be better off this time next year.

And, 27 per cent expect the economy to improve in the coming 12 months, unchanged from November, and 35 per cent see good economic times over the next five years, also unmoved.


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