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Consumers growing confident about lockdowns ending

James Mitchell
28 September 2021 1 minute readShare
Consumers growing confident about lockdowns ending

Consumer confidence is at a standstill as NSW and Victoria creep towards reopening their respective economies.

ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said consumer confidence barely moved last week, rising just 0.2 of a percentage point.
Pointing to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan tracker, Mr Plank said that consumer confidence remains below the 2021 average but up on where it was a year ago.

Broken out by states, the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan tracker found that consumer confidence was slightly down in NSW and Victoria but virtually unchanged in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

“Driving this week’s increase was improving confidence about the year ahead, with more people expecting to be better off financially this time next year and positive views about the Australian economy’s performance over the next year and next five years improving on a week ago,” the tracker noted.

That being said, the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan tracker came with a significant caveat. The full impact on consumer confidence of the Victorian government’s reopening plan likely won’t be seen until the tracker’s next snapshot of the Australian economy.

“Falling COVID case numbers in NSW plus Victoria’s plan for opening may boost confidence over the coming week,” Mr Plank suggested.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan tracker also noted that a rising 38 per cent of Australians expect their family to be better off financially in the coming year, while a falling 13 per cent expect the opposite.

Buying intentions slipped by 1 point to 34 per cent, but a burgeoning 32 per cent of Australians see current market conditions as a bad time to buy major household items.

While 14 per cent of Australians expressed an expectation that the Australian economy would experience good times over the next 12 months, 24 per cent were less optimistic.

Looking at the long term, the tracker found that 22 per cent of Australians expected good times for the economy over the next five years. This optimism beat out the pessimistic 18 per cent who expect to experience bad times over the next five years.

The story here was mirrored by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment for Australia, which increased by 2 per cent in September while buying intentions slipped.

“The resilience of consumer sentiment in a period when Australia’s two major cities have been locked down and the economy has been contracting is truly remarkable,” commented Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.

Consumers growing confident about lockdowns ending
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James Mitchell

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