Consumer confidence has dipped in the latest monthly ANZ Roy
Morgan survey, falling six points to 115, but overall is
still in positive territory.
A reading above 100 indicates more optimists than pessimists.
"Confidence usually falls in March, as the summer glow wanes
and the reality of work reasserts itself," ANZ chief
economist Cameron Bagrie said.
"After accounting for seasonality, March showed a very
marginal easing in confidence, but not of a magnitude than
could be considered any more than rounding."
Considering February had shown a solid lift it was
encouraging to see it had been maintained, he said.
A net 8 per cent of consumers feel worse off financially than
a year ago, compared with a net 2 per cent last month.
They are still positive, by a net 27 per cent, regarding
their own financial prospects in the year ahead, though still
not as upbeat as in February (a net 35 per cent).
Views on the general economy a year out are more circumspect,
a net 2 per cent positive compared with a net 12 per cent
last month, as is sentiment towards the economy five years
out (a net 22 per cent, down from a net 29 per cent).
A net 31 per cent consider it a good time to buy a major
household item, virtually unchanged from February's net 32
Bagrie said consumer confidence continued to be buffeted by
an array of forces. "At one end we have the general feel-good
factor percolating from lifts in house prices, and it is no
surprise to see Auckland and Christchurch - the two regions
showing the most housing froth - top of the pops in regard to
"Conversely, uncertainty over job prospects urges consumer
restraint. Canterbury is the only region showing a sustained
lift in employment, according to job advertising figures."
- By Brian Fallow of the New Zealand Herald