Consumer and business confidence have both increased as virus cases continue to ease across the country.
Currently, consumer confidence is at 101.8pts, increasing by 1.7pts. This remains well below the same figure in 2021 – specifically, 10.3pts below 2021’s level.
Consumer confidence for the fourth week of January is above the 2022 weekly average of 101.5.
State by state, NSW is leading the increases (up 6pts), and WA follows with a lift of 4.5pts. Victoria fell slightly (down 2.6pts), with Queensland following with a small dip of 0.6pts.
“Consumer confidence increased 1.7 percent last week amid falling COVID cases across most of the country,” said David Plank, the ANZ Head of Australian Economics. “A more surprising shift was the 0.3ppt fall in inflation expectations (IE) to 4.7 percent. This came in the same week that the Q4 2021 CPI reported an upward surprise.”
Consumer intentions to buy a major household item has improved by 2ppts, now sitting at 36 percent. The number of Australians who say that now is a bad time to buy has dropped by 1ppts to 34 percent.
Business confidence is experiencing similar boosts across the board, increasing 7.2pts to 120.2 in December. This is the highest figure recorded since June 2021 (128.3), before the Delta wave hit. The biggest increases were in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. However, these figures are likely change as they do not indicate the full force of the Omicron variant.
Increasing 6.4 percent from November, business confidence remains 2.4 percent below that same period in 2020. Furthermore, these figures are down in four states, including NSW, Victoria, WA and Queensland, but NSW and WA led the way with the strongest increase of the four.
“There were positive movement across several parts of the index in December with a rising majority of 55.4 percent of businesses (up 5.6ppts) saying the next 12 months will be a ‘good time to invest in growing the business’ and an increasing majority of 63.1 percent of businesses (up 7ppts) expecting ‘good times’ for the Australian economy’s performance over the next year,” said Michele Levine, the CEO of Roy Morgan.
“As these results show, despite the challenges of living in a ‘COVID-normal’ environment businesses are confident Australia’s highly vaccinated population of over 93 percent of adults provides a strong degree of protection against a return to lockdowns, border closures and stringent restrictions over the next year. The handling of the ‘Omicron variant’ in recent weeks suggests Australia can manage a milder form of the virus without resorting to the restrictions we’ve all lived with over the last two years.”
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