(Australian Associated Press)
Consumer confidence has bounced to a seven-week high, with people feeling more optimistic about the state of the economy and buoyed by improvements in the job market, new figures show.
The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index shows a two per cent rise over the past week, driven by householders’ expectations for the health of the economy hitting a 14-week high and despite a drop in their perceptions of the state of their current finances.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said it was encouraging to see the improvement in views towards economic conditions despite current political uncertainty – which has included the citizenship saga currently rocking Canberra.
Consumers may be in a positive mood about the economy but they view their own financial situation as being worse off than a year ago.
The index recorded a 0.9 per cent fall in households’ sentiment towards their current finances.
This pessimism carried over to the outlook for future financial position, with the four-week average for consumers’ ‘financial situation next year’ sitting under the long term average.
That outlook didn’t dull consumers’ appetite for spending now however, with the index recording a one per cent increase in their willingness to buy major household items.
Mr Plank said consumers appeared to be more upbeat as economic conditions recover to the long term average, following a mid-September low.
“This likely reflects ongoing labour market strength,” Mr Plank said.
Wage and employment data due out later in week should continue the drive in consumer confidence.
Mr Plank said he expected to see growth in wages and the number people employed, suggesting that confidence should receive some support even as political uncertainty rises.