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NZ consumers grow gloomier as recession hits jobs

NZ consumers grow gloomier as recession reduces job prospects

Feb. 9 - New Zealand consumers grew gloomier in the latest Roy Morgan Research poll as signs of a prolonged recession and dwindling job prospects deterred people from spending.

Some 60% of New Zealanders surveyed expect bad economic times in the next 12 months, up 4 percentage points, while those with an optimistic outlook shrank 2 points to 22%, according to the poll conducted in the two weeks ending Feb. 1.

New Zealanders are also more pessimistic about the medium-term outlook for the economy, with 43% expecting good times for the country in the next five years, down 3 points, while the pessimists rose 2 points to 27%. The poll of 1,134 people showed 45% of New Zealanders consider it a good time to buy a major household item, down 3 points, while those determined to keep their wallets shut rose 1 point top 40%.

Figures last week showed the unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in the fourth quarter and some economists predict the rate will exceed 7% this year. The central bank has slashed the official cash rate to just 3.5% and said more cuts could be made this year amid a global economic slump and Treasury predictions that the local economy has entered its fifth quarter of contraction.

The survey showed 37% of New Zealanders say their families are financially worse off than they were a year ago, down 1 point from the previous poll, while those who deem themselves better off falling 1 point to 30%. Still 51% believe they will be better off financially in a year’s time, up 1 point, while those expecting to be worse off rose 3 points to 25%.


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