Consumer confidence dips

After two straight gains consumer confidence declined 0.3 per cent last week.

‘Overall financial conditions’ was flat as a decline of 0.5 per cent in ‘current finances’ was balanced by a similar increase in future finances.

‘Current economic conditions’ fell 1.8 per cent while ‘future economic conditions’ gained 3.5 per cent last week.

‘Time to buy a major household item’ was down 2.4 per cent compared to a gain of 4.7 per cent previously. The four-week moving average of ‘inflation e xpectations’ was stable at 3.9 per cent.

“Confidence declined modestly last week, despite the strong employment number,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics David Plank said.

“The news flow around the coronavirus and the potential implications for Chinese and Australian growth likely acted as a material offset to the positive local news.”

“There are a number of unusual influences on sentiment at present, such as the bushfires and coronavirus offsetting impact of strength in the labour market. This makes it more difficult than usual to assess how consumer spending will respond.”

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