The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index was steady in July. It has made back around half its fall, but seems to have run out of puff for now.
A sense of relief at having (so far) dodged the worst pervades New Zealand. Consumer confidence is well off its lows. But there’s also an undercurrent of wariness, with huge uncertainty about the future. Many people are worried about their jobs (or have lost them already). Willingness to buy major household items remains at the levels prevailing in the last recession. This is directly at odds with both anecdote and data showing a remarkably vigorous bounce-back in spending, particularly on big-ticket items. It suggests that the current flurry of spending as households spend their ‘accidental’ lockdown savings and the cash they’d put aside for international holidays is likely to peter out relatively soon, as lower incomes bite.
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