Consumer confidence lifts again

Confidence strengthened for a second week, with a close to 9 per cent gain coming after the prior week’s jump of more than 10 per cent. Strength was broad based.

‘Current financial conditions’ gained 8.7 per cent, while ‘future financial conditions’ rose 7.9 per cent.

‘Current economic conditions’ gained 6.3 per cent, building on the massive gain of 24.6 per cent in the previous reading. ‘Future financial conditions’ gained 11.8 per cent after being the only subcomponent that fell in the previous reading.

‘Time to buy a major household item’ gained 8 per cent and the four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations’ fell 0.1 percentage point to 4 per cent. The weekly reading dipped to 3.8 per cent from 4.1 per cent.

“The government’s fiscal packages and the flattening of the pandemic curve are helping consumer confidence make further gains.,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics David Plank said.

“Confidence is now up close to 20 per cent from the historic low reached over the last weekend in March. Despite this, it is still some way below the levels seen during the global financial crisis.”

“The challenge for sentiment over the next few months is likely to be a deluge of poor economic data. We’ve already seen a taste of it this week, with the plunge in business confidence and conditions.”

“March employment data, due out later this week, may deliver more bad news, though the fact the survey week for the report was in early March means it is likely to be some way short of the disastrous labour market data we unfortunately expect to see in coming months.”

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