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Aussie Consumer Confidence Hits Thirty-Year January Low

January is usually a time of freewheeling spending, with back-to-school sales, summer events, holidays, and the start of a new year making Aussies a little more loose with the purse strings.

But this January is unlike any other. With spending tightened, people staying home to avoid the surging Omicron variant, and stores reducing trading hours, consumer confidence has hit a thirty-year low for the month, the worst since Janaury 1992, when the country was pulling out of a recession.

Consumer confidence declined 7.6 per cent last week to a below-average 97.9, according to a ANZ-Roy Morgan survey.

“Consumer confidence readings are usually positive during the month of January and the level of 97.9 is the weakest January result since 1992, when the Australian economy was experiencing sharply rising unemployment,” ANZ economist David Plank said.

“We don’t think the economy is as weak as these data might suggest, with the shock of the omicron surge and strains on testing capability the key drivers of the fall rather than underlying economic conditions.

“But the result highlights that concerns about COVID have the potential to significantly impact the economy if they linger.”

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