Consumer confidence steady, remains robust

(Australian Associated Press)

Consumers seem unaffected by the marathon election campaign, with sentiment remaining in good shape.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index edged down 0.3 per cent last week, but it’s still nearly four per cent above its long run average.

The result only partially reverses the previous week’s solid gains, where confidence surged to a multi-year high.

“Confidence has remained resilient over the past few weeks, despite the long election campaign and the fact that the polls remain particularly close,” ANZ head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said.

The biggest drag on the overall result was the measure on whether consumers felt now was a good time to buy a major household item, which slumped 2.3 per cent last week.

But consumers remain optimistic about their current financial situation, with the subindex rising 1.7 per cent last week.

That’s an encouraging indicator of household consumption, Ms Emmett said.

“It suggests household spending will likely continue to post solid growth in the second quarter,” she said.

But Ms Emmett noted an improving jobs picture is a key driver of consumer sentiment.

“On this front, this week’s employment data will be important for the near term direction of consumer confidence,” she said.

Jobs growth is tipped to have picked up slightly, but the unemployment rate is forecast to edge up to 5.8 per cent in May.


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