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New Zealand ANZ/Morgan consumer confidence lifts to 126.9 in January

New Zealand’s ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index lifted from 121.8 to 126.9 in January. This is still 3 points off the September high but is a pretty robust level. The Current Conditions Index rose a hefty 8.1 points to 131.3, its highest level since 2007.

The Future Conditions Index lifted 3.0 points to 124.0. Consumers continue to feel pretty content with their current financial situation. A net 16 percent feel financially better off than a year ago. This metric has been pretty stable for the last year or so. A net 29 percent of consumers expect to be better off financially this time next year (+1 point).

A net 47 percent say it’s a good time to buy a major household item, up 15 points. Durables spending may be set for something of a comeback given the stabilization in house price growth. Perceptions regarding the economic outlook improved from 13 to 21. It remains off its September high of +30 but it is encouraging that it has turned. The five-year outlook was steady at a net +22 percent.

Consumer confidence has bounced back as the housing market has stabilized and the uncertainty around the election has receded. The labor market is strong and the outlook for household incomes is solid, so it is hard to argue the optimism is unwarranted. That said, a hint of wariness in the responses to the forward-looking questions persists.

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