An Unclear Pattern of Consumer Confidence Emerges as Figures Drop Again

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By Published On: March 9, 20220 Comments

Australians are recording no clear pattern of consumer confidence in the first few months of 2022, as various events continuously impact the ongoing figures heading into the first week of March.

An incremental increase of 0.9 has moved the Consumer Confidence level back to the neutral position of 100.1 for the first week of March. This comes as the figure slipped last week due to the ongoing floods in NSW and Queensland.

Currently, the Consumer confidence score is below the 2022 weekly average of 101.1. Furthermore, this figure is well below the figure for the same week in 2021, 111.9 (-11.8pts).

Over the last few weeks of the year, there has been an inconsistent pattern emerging as Omicron wreaks ‘havoc’ across the country, thus impacting the overall confidence of Australians moving forward. So far there have been four weeks of increases and four weeks of decreases, driven by concerns of the Omicron variant, floods across the northeast parts of Australia and the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine.

Consumer confidence slightly increased in Sydney and Queensland as floodwaters began to recede, as well as in South Australia. However, this figure was offset by a decrease in confidence across country NSW as floods continue to ravage the area. Victoria and Western Australia also reported a decrease in confidence, the latter driven by COVID-19 restrictions in Perth.

“Consumer confidence increased by 0.9 percent last week as the floods in southern Queensland and northern NSW receded, if only momentarily,” said David Plank, the ANZ Head of Australian Economics. “This took it just above the neutral level but left it well below average. Confidence rose slightly in NSW by 0.6 percent and was up a sharp 7.2 percent in Queensland. The surge in Omicron cases in WA weighed confidence down 2.6 percent. Among the other states, confidence fell in Victoria (-2.6 percent), while it rose in SA (9.4 percent).”

Buying intentions remain somewhat unchanged across the country, too. Over a third of Australians (35 percent) say that now is a good time to buy a major household item, which remains unchanged. In contrast, 33 percent say that now is a bad time to spend for a major household item, which has decreased 1ppt.

“Nationally, confidence has been hovering around the neutral level of 100 during the past seven weeks, not heading in the same direction for more than two weeks. Household inflation expectations fell by 0.1ppt but remained elevated at 5.2 percent as petrol prices reach a new high,” Plank continued.

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