NZ consumer confidence eases in June as caution prevails   15 Jun 2012

Article - BusinessDesk

NZ consumer confidence eases in June as caution prevails

By Hannah Lynch

June 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence eased in June as consumers remained cautious about spending money.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence measure eased to 105.8 points in June from 113.9 points in May. The Current Conditions index fell 3.1 points to 105, while the Future Conditions index eased by 11.4 points to 106.3.

"Right here and now consumers still feel worse off, and more so," said Cameron Bagrie, chief economist at ANZ New Zealand. "The consumer is not the flag bearer of growth."

Consumer perceptions towards the general economy a year out fell to -19 points from 2 points in May, while sentiment towards the economy five years from now eased to 18 points from 23.

Inflation expectations lifted marginally to 3.7 percent from 3.6 percent. That comes as Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard yesterday left the official cash rate unchanged at the record-low 2.5 percent and flagged a slower track for interest rate increases.

House price expectations remained unchanged on 3.5 percent, with consumers still perceiving it to be a good time to buy a big ticket item, even as sentiment slipped 5 points to 20.

On a regional basis, Canterbury recorded the largest fall down 14 points to 106.1 points, followed by Wellington down 13 points to a 13-month low of 105.7. Auckland recorded the smallest decline on 109.8 points from 111.8 points a month earlier.

Female consumers were more pessimistic than males, with confidence dropping 4 points to 6 points. That's the lowest level since April 2011.

Consumers aged 25 plus experienced a marked deterioration in confidence. Those in the 25 to 34 years dropping 10 points to 113.1 points, while consumers aged 35 to 49 fell 13 points to a 14-month low of 100.1. Consumers aged 50 plus recorded the lowest level of confidence down 9 points to 94.8.

(BusinessDesk)

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