After two weeks of steep falls, consumer confidence remains virtually unchanged in the fourth week of March.
According to Roy Morgan, consumer confidence has barely shifted, now sitting at 91.1 – the lowest since September 2020.
Over the last two weeks, consumer confidence has dropped 8.9 points. This is well below the same period last year, when confidence levels were 112.3 – this is a difference of 21.2 points.
What’s interesting is that consumer confidence has remained virtually unchanged, but there has been a dip in buying intentions.
In fact, buying intentions have dropped to the lowest point since the second wave of COVID in Victoria, with just 30 percent saying that now is a good time to buy a major household item. This is a dop of two percentage points, the lowest since August 2020.
In contrast, a whopping 42 percent say that now is a bad time to buy a major household item, up two percentage points. Again, this is the highest figure in 18 months, last reaching this height in August 2020.
“Inflation expectations surged 0.4ppt last week to a multi-year high of 6.4 percent, even though petrol prices declined slightly,” said David Plank, the ANZ Head of Australian Economics. “Consumer confidence was essentially unchanged despite this, with a slight decline of just 0.1 percent. Within the detail, however, sentiment toward ‘current financial conditions’ dropped to its lowest since May 2020.”
“Consumer confidence is very weak given the strength of employment, which we think is directly linked to concerns over cost-of-living pressures. It will be interesting to see whether the measures expected in the Federal Budget provide a boost to confidence,” he said.
You can find out what retail experts are saying about the 2022 Federal Budget here.
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