Consumer confidence pulls back 16 March

Headline consumer confidence was down 0.9 per cent, with most subindices falling as we draw nearer to the end of the JobKeeper program.

‘Current financial conditions’ declined 2.5 per cent, ‘future financial conditions’ fell 0.6 per cent. ‘Current economic conditions’ weakened 0.6 per cent and ‘future economic conditions’ fell 1.1 per cent.

Going against the overall trend, the ‘time to buy a major household item’ index gained 0.1 per cent. ‘Weekly inflation expectations’ remained at 3.8 per cent, while the four-week moving average increased 0.1 per cent to 3.8 per cent.

“Consumer confidence slipped 0.9 per cent last weekend despite the federal government’s $A1.2 billion support package aimed at restoring interstate tourism demand,” ANZ Head of Australian Economics David Plank said.

“We don’t think the drop in confidence was related to the two new COVID cases. The one in Sydney was revealed too late to be captured by the survey, while confidence in Queensland fell by a lot less than some of the other states.”

“It is possible the drop in confidence could be linked to consumers being apprehensive about a future without the JobKeeper program, or the small decline could simply be a pure ‘noise’ in the data.”

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