Consumer confidence stalls on GDP result

Simone Ziaziaris
(Australian Associated Press)

Consumer confidence has stalled after three consecutive weeks of lifts, following the release of first quarter economic growth figures.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index was unchanged at 112.9 for the week to June 11, on the back of a 0.6 per cent rise the week before.

ANZ head of Australian Economics David Plank said the headline number masked significant changes in the sub-indices.

“Views towards economic conditions fell, whereas confidence in financial conditions rose quite sharply,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Households’ expectations of current economic conditions dropped a sharp 5.2 per cent, almost entirely unwinding gains made over the past three weeks.

Views towards future economic conditions continued to slide with a 2.6 per cent decline, following a 3.2 per cent fall the previous week.

It is now at its lowest level since September 2015.

But, despite the drop, households’ views towards financial conditions improved “quite dramatically” jumping 9.4 per cent to its highest level in 14 weeks, Mr Plank said.

“This is encouraging in terms of the outlook for household consumption,” he said.

“Although we expect that persistent weakness in wage growth and high levels of household debt will continue to weigh on spending.”

Views towards future conditions continue to improve, rising 1.5 per cent building on a 2.7 per cent lift the previous week.

Mr Plank said strength in business conditions along with moderate growth in ANZ Job ads suggest that employment growth should continue at a decent pace.

“This should broadly support confidence over the coming months.”

Data released on June 7 indicated that gross domestic product slowed to 0.3 per cent in the March quarter – taking annual growth to 1.7 per cent – against economists’ expectations of 0.1 per cent growth.

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