Consumer confidence on marginal ‘upward trend’

Consumer confidence is on “an upward trend” after “two months of heightened volatility”, a report has revealed.

Although the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence report found that consumer confidence has “virtually unchanged” this month, edging up by a marginal 0.3 per cent in the week ending October 17, reversing the 0.3 per cent fall the week before, overall confidence is “well above its long run average” with the strong housing market and declining unemployment rate “clearly supporting overall confidence”.

The report also noted that consumers’ views toward their current finances fell by 2.4 per cent, while views toward future finances rose by 1 per cent, but these were both found to be above average.

Consumers were also slightly more confident of their 12-month economic outlook which improved by 0.4 per cent, while their five-year outlook was largely unchanged (up by 0.1 per cent), following a 0.7 per cent rise last week.

“The key for the broader economic outlook, though, is whether rising confidence can translate into stronger spending, particularly given the high level of household debt,” said ANZ head of Australian economics, Felicity Emmett.

“The strength in the labour market remains a key driver of confidence. On this front, this week’s report on September employment and unemployment will be important for the near term direction of consumer confidence,” she concluded.

[Related: Consumer confidence remains ‘volatile’]

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Tamikah Bretzke

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