Confidence bounces on local outlook

03_Confidence bounces on local outlook

(Australian Associated Press)

Global economic uncertainty may be dominating the headlines, but it seems Australians haven’t been reading them.

Consumer confidence rose 2.0 per cent in the week ending February 14, building on the previous week’s 0.2 per cent gain, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index.

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan says local consumers are more concerned about domestic fundamentals, like employment and strong home sales, than the global economic uncertainty and market turmoil.

“This week, all five sub-components of confidence rose, seemingly in reflection of an underlying sturdiness in consumers’ attitudes,” he said in a note.

“The turnaround in sentiment has occurred despite ongoing weakness in equity markets and concerns about the health of the world economy across most media channels.”

He said heightened debate about tax changes last week hadn’t hit sentiment yet, but warned it still could impact on confidence.

“We doubt this reading would have captured the impact of the major parties’ announcements on negative gearing,” Mr Hogan cautioned.

The bounce in confidence has pushed the index above its long-run average.

Consumers’ optimism about the future also has rebounded strongly.

Confidence in the economic outlook for the next 12-months jumped 4.6 per cent, after falling 1.7 per cent the previous week.

Consumer confidence about the five-year outlook also rose, by 1.6 per cent, following a 0.5 per cent fall the week before.

The sub-index on respondents’ current financial situation compared to a year ago remained upbeat, rising 1.2 per cent.

And, their confidence about their own finances for the next 12 months also picked up, rising 0.2 per cent.


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