CANBERRA, AAP – Australians have a renewed spring in their step following last week’s national accounts, which Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as “remarkable”.
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending – jumped 1.5 per cent with four out of its five sub-indices showing strong gains.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said the rise was likely in response the December quarter national accounts, which showed the economy had racked up two quarters of growth above three per cent for the first time.
It also coincided with other figures last week showing job advertising soared 13.4 per cent in February, indicating further strong employment gains are possible in coming months.
Mr Morrison told a conference on Tuesday the national accounts highlight the economy’s “remarkable comeback”, growing by 3.1 per cent in the December quarter, led by the private sector and outperforming G7 countries and the OECD average.
“Household consumption was strong, backed by confident Australian consumers, whose incomes have been supported through the crisis, also increasing retail spending,” he told the Australian Financial Review Business Summit in Sydney.
The ANZ’s confidence survey showed views about people’s current financial conditions gained 1.5 per cent following a two-week decline, while “future financial conditions” improved 1.1 per cent.
At the same time, “current economic conditions” rose 3.6 per cent and “future economic conditions” registered a gain of 2.1 per cent – almost reversing the fall of 2.4 per cent the week before.
However, views on “time to buy a major household item” softened 0.8 per cent.