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Consumer Confidence Improves Fifth Week In A Row

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index picked up for the fifth consecutive week, rising by 5.3% last week, an improvement on the 1% gain of the week prior. “The strength in confidence last week was encouraging. Overall sentiment is now around the levels seen during the GFC,” said David Plank, ANZ Head of Australian Economics.

Australians appear to be feeling more positive about the future than the current economic climate, with the ‘future economic conditions’ category rising by 13.7% and ‘future finances’ up 5.9%.

Confidence about the present situation still improved, however, with the ‘current finances’ sub-index gaining 5.3% and the ‘current economic conditions’ rising by 2.2%.

Meanwhile, Australians expect inflation to be weak, with the four-week moving average for inflation expectations hitting a record low of 3.4%.

“We think that the gain over the past week is predominantly attributable to the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions and optimism surrounding the daily new cases figure,” Plank said. “There is a long way to go before sentiment gets to levels where people can be said to be optimistic, however.”

The ‘time to buy a household item’ metric declined by 2.5%, for example.

However, some areas of retail are expect to lift in the near future. According to a McKinsey survey, calculated as net intent, 17% of Australian consumers expect to spend more on groceries than usual. In-home entertainment and household supplies are also expected to increase, but most retail categories fell.

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