Consumer sentiment subdued ahead of Budget

Prashant Mehra
(Australian Associated Press)

Worries about future finances has continued to weigh on overall consumer confidence amid high household debt and low wage growth.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index was basically steady at a level of 111.3 points in the week ending April 29, up from 111.2 in the previous week, and close to the 100-point level separating optimism and pessimism.

This follows two consecutive weeks of decline.

However, there was some improvement in survey respondents’ views towards economic outlook.

Expectations for economic conditions in the next 12 months were less pessimistic, lifting 2 per cent in the week, while expectations for economic conditions over the next five years also ticked higher, by 0.7 per cent points.

But, respondents’ views about future finances were less optimistic, falling a sharp 3.6 per cent.

ANZ’s head of Australian economics David Plank said federal budget-related news had tended to have an impact on consumers’ views towards the economy.

“We don’t expect any significant policy surprises that will hit households’ pockets in this year’s Budget, suggesting that any impact on confidence from this event may be modest,” he said.


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