Consumer confidence falls to record low

Consumer confidence declined by 9.8 per cent over the past week and is now at its lowest level since the inception of the survey in 1973.

‘Future financial conditions’ was the only subcomponent which was positive, gaining 0.6 per cent. ‘Current financial conditions’ fell 16.1 per cent.

‘Current economic conditions’ declined by 9.5 per cent, following last week’s 37 per cent decline. This is by far the weakest component of the survey. ‘Future economic conditions’ were a bit calmer, falling just 2.4 per cent.

‘Time to buy a major household item’ fell the most over the past week, dropping by 23.8 per cent. The four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations’ was up by 0.1 percentage point to 4.1 per cent.

“Sentiment took a further hit over the past week, falling to the lowest ever level in the almost 50-year history of the survey,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics David Plank said.

“There were some glimmers of hope. ‘Future finances’ were up marginally and inflation expectations rose. In fact, there was a sharp uptick in the weekly reading of inflation expectations, which rose to 4.3 per cent. But we aren’t getting carried away.”

“‘Current economic conditions’ fell more than 9 per cent and are down close to 50 per cent over two weeks, to the lowest ever level. Most other aspects of the survey are exceptionally weak.”

“The announcement of the largest fiscal package yet may stabilise confidence but much will depend on the how the pandemic evolves.”

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