Consumer confidence inches higher

Confidence rose just 0.3 per cent last weekend despite the end of the Perth lockdown, failing to show the sort of rebound often (but not always) seen after other lockdowns. The emergence of new infections in Perth and the terrible news out of India may have kept the continued threat posed by COVID front of mind.

Four out of the five subindices gained. ‘Current financial conditions’ gained most with a rise of 2.2 per cent, while ‘future financial conditions’ improved 0.3 per cent.

‘Current economic conditions’ grew 0.8 per cent, while ‘future economic conditions’ declined 2.3 per cent.

‘Time to buy a major household item’ rose, for the fourth week in a row, by 0.2 per cent. ‘Weekly inflation expectations’ remained steady at 3.7 per cent, keeping the four-week moving average unchanged at 3.8 per cent.

“Confidence rose by 0.3 per cent across Australia over the past week, with a gain of 1.3 per cent in Perth,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said.

“The magnitude of the Perth gain is much smaller than the one following Perth’s lockdown at the end of January – possibly because another few cases of infection and the bad news out of India have the city and country somewhat on edge.”

“There was some strength in ‘current financial conditions’, which rose by 2.2 per cent. This gain could be a result of the announcements made about the Budget such as additional funding for childcare. Overall confidence is just above the longrun

average.”

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