Consumer confidence is up again – possibly with some help from the cancellation of a planned rail strike in Sydney – and showing encouraging signs of building momentum, new figures indicate.
ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence rose 1.3 per cent last week to 120.9 points after it fell 3.3 per cent the prior week.
The latest survey, based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews at the weekend, results showed consumers were more optimistic about both current and future economic conditions.
However, views around their own current and future financial conditions were weak and sentiment around buying a household item dropped for a second consecutive week.
ANZ’s head of Australian economics David Plank said the improved overall outlook may have been helped by the fact a major rail strike planned for Sydney was averted after the NSW government won a court ruling that blocked the action.
“Encouragingly consumer confidence has sustained the bulk of its January gains, potentially setting up 2018 for a solid start in terms of consumer spending,” he said.
He said next week, the key data releases that will influence consumers confidence will be the official December and fourth quarter retail sales figures.
“The strength of retail sales in October and November, especially, means that the quarterly result will almost certainly be quite solid after the weak third quarter result,” he said.
“We would not be surprised to see December month retail sales post a small decline after the very strong result for November, however.”