Consumer Confidence Below 2020 Levels, but Remains Steady

Power Retail By Power Retail | 22 Dec 2021

Even with Christmas around the corner, Australian consumer confidence has barely shifted from its spot at 108.4.

This figure remains below the same period last year, but only by 0.6 pts. The consumer confidence level is now in line with the 2021 weekly average of 108.1.

Maybe surprisingly, New South Wales saw a moderate increase in confidence, lifting 4.8 percent – Victoria also saw an increase in consumer confidence of 1.1 percent. This comes as both states experience higher case numbers.

However, states like Queensland, WA, Tasmania and SA saw slight dips in confidence levels in the lead up to the holidays.

“Consumer confidence increased 0.4 percent last week as sentiment improved sharply in NSW (+4.5 percent) and Victoria (+1.1 percent) despite the rising number of Omicron cases in both states,” explained Adelaide Timbrell, the ANZ Senior Economist at Roy Morgan.

“The much lower hospitalisation rate compared to the Delta wave probably helped. Confidence in Queensland dropped 0.5 percent, Western Australia saw a drop [of] 3.7 percent and confidence in South Australia dropped 3.4 percent.

“Though all these states have stronger confidence than two weeks ago.

“The outlook about personal financial conditions improved, mostly due to a sharp increase in ‘finances compared to a year ago’. Household inflation expectations rose to a recent high of 5.0 percent,” Timbrell explained.

There has been a further decrease in intentions to buy, with 41 percent of Australians saying that now is a good time to buy a major household item – this is a dip of two ppts. In contrast, there has been a three ppt increase for Australians who believe that now is a bad time to buy a major household item, now at 30 percent.

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