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Consumer Confidence Climbs, Following Rates Rise

Australian consumer confidence has rebounded from last week’s plunge caused by the RBA’s fourth straight interest rate rise.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence was up 3.9 points this week, to 84.2. This is a whopping 16.9 points below the same week a year ago, and 7.5 points below the 2022 weekly average.

Still, following weeks of uncertainty due to inflation, confidence this week sits at the highest level since late June. One factor could be that average petrol prices dropped to $1.69 per litre last week – the first time they have been below $1.70 per litre since late April.

When it comes to buying intentions, just 23 per cent of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, compared to 49 per cent, who declare now is a bad time to buy.

“There was a notable recovery in consumer confidence over the past week, with the loss in the week of the RBA’s August rate hike more than completely reversed,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said.

“Across the major states, confidence was up very strongly in Western Australia and made solid gains in New South Wales and Victoria. Confidence declined in Queensland and South Australia, however.

“It was notable that sentiment about ‘future financial conditions’ is now in positive territory, if only just, for the first time since late May. In our view this speaks to the strength of the labour market, which we expect to be confirmed by the data due later this week.

Plank warns that “we aren’t getting carried away,” adding, “sentiment toward ‘future financial conditions’ is still well below average and overall confidence is deeply negative.”

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