Consumers feeling more optimistic
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 2:47p.m.
New Zealand consumer confidence has lifted as households feel more optimistic about their financial well-being.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index rose to 114.5 in August from 110.5 in July, where a reading above 100 indicates there are more optimists than pessimists. The Current Conditions index advanced three points to 114, while the Future Conditions index increased five points to 115.
"The level isn't stellar, and it still flags some caution," Cameron Bagrie, chief economist at ANZ New Zealand said.
"However, at least it is moving in the right direction."
Thursday's survey showed gains in all five sub-segments that make up consumer confidence.
It is still seen as a good time to buy a big ticket item, with the net balance unchanged at 25 percent. Pessimistic perceptions towards the general economy improved to minus six from minus 10.
Mr Bagrie said the improvement was driven by lifts in property prices, low interest rates and the prospect of these persisting for a while. Solid lifts in average gross weekly earnings have also bolstered confidence, he said.
The survey came after Government figures showed New Zealand's unemployment rate unexpectedly rose 0.1 percentage point to 6.8 percent in the second quarter, the highest level since June 2010.
Separately, national property values rose 2.2 percent in the three months ended July 31 as homes in Auckland and Christchurch continue to appreciate amid a shortage of supply, according to Government valuer Quotable Value.
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