Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Consumer confidence rises to 9-year high

NZ consumer confidence rises to nine-year high in first quarter

March 17 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand consumer confidence rose to a nine-year high in the first quarter of this year with optimism about the economy in the year ahead approaching record levels.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index rose to 121.7 in March, up from 120.1 in the December survey, to the highest level since the credit-fuelled boom times of 2005. A reading above 100 indicates more optimists than pessimists. A net 35 percent of those polled expect good times for the economy over the year ahead, up from a net 27.8 percent in the December quarter and the third-highest reading in the survey’s history.

“Consumers’ economic optimism, their assessment of their financial situation and their reported attitudes to spending have all continued to pick up,” said Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck. “Their attitudes towards their own finances and towards spending remain relatively cautious.”

The survey results come less than a week after the Reserve Bank raised interest rates from historic low levels on concern a buoyant economy will push up inflation. The hike is the first in a series of rises expected over the next two years, which will hit the pockets of almost three-quarters of home mortgage borrowers who are either on a floating interest rate or will need to pick a new fixed interest rate within the next 12 months.

The Westpac survey showed a modest drop in the percentage of households expecting an improvement in their financial situation, at 10.6 percent from 12.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

“We continue to be of the view that in the next couple of years, consumer spending will be a passenger as other sectors of the economy sit in the driver’s seat,” Delbruck said.

The survey shows optimism about the economy in the year ahead has only been higher in June 1994, when a net 38.6 percent of respondents were upbeat, and in December 2004 with a net 36.4 percent positive reading.

Still, optimism about the next five years weakened, with a net 31.8 percent optimistic in the first quarter compared with a net 34.4 percent in last December’s survey.

The present conditions index, which summarises how households’ financial situation has changed over the past year and whether now is a good time to buy a major household item, rose to 115.5 in the first quarter from 113.1 in the fourth quarter of last year.

The survey of 1,594 people was conducted between March 1 and March 10.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news