Australian Consumer Confidence Continues To Bounce Back
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence has lifted for the second week in a row, rising by 8.8% to 78.2. This comes on top of last week’s gain of 10%.
The ‘time to buy a major household item’ category gained 8%, ‘future financial conditions’ rose by 11.8%, ‘current financial conditions’ increased by 8.7%, and ‘current economic conditions’ was up 6.3%.
The population is perhaps growing more confident that the government’s stimulus packages will be able to support incomes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The $130 billion JobKeeper scheme was passed by Parliament last Wednesday, after the previous iteration of the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence survey.
Under the JobKeeper package, businesses that have lost at least 30% of their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic can receive $1500 per employee, per fortnight until September 2020. By the time the package had passed more than 730,000 businesses had already registered for the scheme.
“The Government’s fiscal packages and the flattening of the pandemic curve are helping consumer confidence make further gains,” David Plank, ANZ Head of Australian Economics, said. The confidence index is now close to 20% higher than the historical lows seen in the last weekend of March.
More broadly, however, confidence is still low, some way below GFC levels.
“The challenge for sentiment over the next few months is likely to be a deluge of poor economic data,” Plank said. “March employment data, due out later this week, may deliver more bad news, though the fact the survey week for the report was in early March means it is likely to be some way short of the disastrous labour market data we unfortunately expect to see in coming months.”
Indeed, NAB’s Business Survey that was released yesterday recorded historic lows in business conditions and business sentiment. In addition, the Treasury forecast the unemployment rate to hit 10% in June this year.