Consumer confidence low ahead of rates call

Consumer confidence decreased slightly by 0.1 points last week to 79.9. Among the mainland states, confidence increased in Queensland and South Australia, declined in New South Wales and Western Australia, and was unchanged in Victoria.

‘Weekly inflation expectations’ was unchanged at 5.2 per cent. Its four-week moving average was also steady at 5.3 per cent.

The subindex results were mixed. ‘Current financial conditions’ declined 1.5 points, while ‘future financial conditions’ increased slightly by 0.3 points.

‘Current economic conditions’ fell 1.2 points. ‘Future economic conditions’ rose 4.7 points, completely offsetting the losses from the previous two weeks. ‘Time to buy a major household item’ dropped 2.7 points.

“Consumer confidence remained virtually unchanged – and very low – in the week to March 5,” ANZ Senior Economist Adelaide Timbrell said. “It was the fourth-consecutive week with confidence among the worst 12 results since the COVID outbreak in Australia.

“Among those paying off their mortgage, confidence rebounded 2.9 points after a sharp fall the week before. Confidence among those who own their home outright and those renting declined 2.2 points and 0.4 points respectively, but still ended the week with

higher confidence than indebted owners.

“Time to buy a major household item declined to its fifth-lowest result since the COVID outbreak, while current finances dropped to its fourth-worst result since COVID. Confidence about future financial and economic conditions rose during the week.”

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