Consumer confidence stagnates pre-budget

Now on its 67th week below the 86-point mark

Consumer confidence stagnates pre-budget


By Mina Martin

In the week leading up to the Federal Budget, the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index remained steady at 80.2, continuing its 67-week trend below the 85-point mark.

This stagnation occurred as the nation anticipated new budget measures aimed at addressing cost-of-living pressures.

Consumer confidence state-by-state

Consumer confidence varied across Australia, with declines in Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia, while New South Wales and Queensland saw slight improvements.

Financial perspectives

About 20% of Australians feel financially better off than last year, consistent with previous weeks, while 50% feel worse off, a slight increase in negative sentiment.

Expectations for the next year remained stable with 32% optimistic about improvement, but an equal percentage anticipating financial decline.

Economic outlook

Only 9% of Australians expect economic improvement in the next 12 months, reflecting pervasive cautiousness amidst ongoing economic challenges.

Long-term confidence also waned, with only 11% optimistic about the next five years, while 22% predict tougher times ahead.

Consumer spending intentions

There was a notable decrease in the number of Australians who think it's a good time to buy major household items, with only 19% in favor, the lowest so far this year. Conversely, 52% believe it's a bad time to make such purchases, marking the highest level of pessimism recorded in 2024.

Expert commentary from ANZ

Madeline Dunk (pictured above), ANZ economist, expressed concern about the fragile state of consumer confidence, particularly among mortgage holders following the Reserve Bank’s decision to maintain high interest rates.

“Consumer confidence fell 3.8 points for those paying off a mortgage, reaching a 2024 low,” Dunk said. “This sentiment is even weaker than that among renters, likely influenced by discussions suggesting prolonged high rates.”

She also noted the decline in confidence regarding the economy's five-year outlook and purchasing conditions for major items, both hitting their lowest points for the year.

The ANZ economist said that they are anticipating a potential rise in confidence following the budget announcement.

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