There is as yet no clear improving trend in the spending
intentions of New Zealand consumers, BNZ chief economist Tony
Releasing the BNZ-Nine Rewards Consumer Trends Survey, Mr
Alexander said retailers might feel justified in getting
ready for some stronger spending on the basis of other
economic fundamentals such as rising construction, dairying
and house prices.
''But, as yet, consumers are showing no trend towards
increasing willingness to raise debt and mortgage any
higher,'' he said.
A net 8.4% of 548 respondents expected to spend more than
usual in the coming month, unchanged from September. Eighteen
of the respondents were from Otago, which just crept into the
final tally. Usually, the BNZ only reports regional results
of 20 or more responses.
The other result of interest was expectations house prices
would continue to rise, he said.
The net percentage expecting house price appreciation now
stood at a record 65%, up from 60% last month.
The Reserve Bank would not be happy about the result as it
tried to cap house price expectations.
''This validates the recent warning from the Reserve Bank
governor [Graeme Wheeler] that if loan-to-value ratio changes
do not rein in the housing market, interest rates may need to
rise more than they have allowed for in their economic
The survey showed the percentage of people expecting the
economy to be in better shape in a year's time had rebounded
to July and August levels of 29% after a low of 21% in
The October survey showed 28% of people thought they would
spend more than usual this month, 19% thought they would
spend less and 53% would spend the same.
Only 15% were considering buying a new car in the next three
months, down from September, and 43% thought they might buy
new furniture or appliances within the next quarter.
A record gross 79% were thinking about buying clothing and
accessories in the next three months. Mr Alexander said it
was the second monthly rise in a row but he wondered if there
was a seasonal element in play as summer approached.