Consumers remain positive, though less upbeat. The ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence Index eased to 125.5 in August, down 7 points on the month prior and reversing lifts in sentiment over the preceding two months. Sentiment is still elevated but has retreated to a 10-month low.
The Current Conditions index fell 3 points to 123, while the Future Conditions index dropped 10 points to 127. The more marked fall in future conditions is hardly surprising. Various leading indicators of momentum – the tightening in financial conditions and lower commodity prices – foretell a deceleration in growth. Conversely, lagging indicators such as employment growth remain more robust.
Seasonal factors – the winter blues – are not at play. Seasonally adjusted measures showed similar movements to the unadjusted figures.
However, households still feel better off financially compared to a year ago (+7 from +9 in July). House prices are going up, but at a slower rate and it’s still considered a great time to buy a major household item (+40 from +44).