Consumer confidence up but vulnerable

(Australian Associated Press)


Consumer confidence largely recovered from the previous week’s sharp drop but remains vulnerable to any further volatility in financial markets.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index rose 2.2 per cent to 118.5 points in the week to March 18, claiming back almost all the ground lost in a 2.5 per cent decline over the previous seven days.

Households were apparently more optimistic about the future following last week’s NAB business survey that showed businesses enjoying their best conditions in 21 years.

There were broad-based gains, with households particularly positive about near-term financial conditions.

ANZ head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett on Tuesday said overall confidence has stabilised after trending lower in February, but much would hinge on this week’s jobs report and unemployment data.

“Another solid report with a tick down in the unemployment rate – in line with our expectations – is likely to support confidence over the coming weeks,” Ms Emmett said.

“That said, confidence is vulnerable to additional bouts of financial market volatility.”


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