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Consumer confidence slips pre-Christmas

Christmas shopping outlook muted as consumer confidence slips

Nov. 23 (BusinessWire) – Retailers can expect muted a Christmas shopping season according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Survey, released today.
The monthly gauge of consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months, and people remain more pessimistic about their present conditions than they do about the future.

Consumer confidence slipped 4.4 points this month to 121.5 according to the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey, where a reading of 100 separates optimists from pessimists.

The gap between current and future expectations remained wide, though consumers’ view of the more distant future also deteriorated. The five-year outlook had the biggest decline of 11.3 points to a net 46% positive.

Respondents to the survey found November was a worse time to buy big ticket items than in October, with a net 10% saying it was a good time to buy major household items, down from 13% a month earlier.

“It is only natural to expect current conditions to lag expectations somewhat,” the report said. Still, the weak current conditions index “suggests consumers will remain cautious about their spending decisions heading into the all important holiday shopping season.”

Spending on electronic cards fell 0.1% last month, the first decline in three months, while retail spending in the three months through September edged higher 0.1%. Retailers have borne the brunt of the global financial crisis that forced New Zealanders to cut their spending and pay down debt.

Expectations about the economic conditions in the coming year fell 3 points to a net 29% positive, while a net 44% expect to be better off in 12 months than they are now. A net minus 22% of respondents said they were worse off now than they were at the same time last year.

(BusinessWire) 16:53:01

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