Consumer confidence strong


Consumer confidence is still strong, except when it comes to many Aucklanders and younger people.

The latest ANZ - Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index shows a net 29 percent of people expect to be better off financially in a year's time, compared to 24 percent a month ago.

ANZ says job ads have risen for five consecutive months and skills shortages are becoming more of an issue for employers.

House prices are also helping many people feel more confident, with house value expectations hitting another new high.

"Expectations surged among those most likely to buy; those in the 25-34 and 35-49 age brackets set new 'sky' highs. Expectations across Auckland rose to 8.4 percent also the highest we've seen since the survey started."

But the survey suggests that those who are not on the property ladder are not feeling as optimistic.

ANZ says Auckland is now one of the weaker (less upbeat) regions across the economy, and the 25-34 year olds’ current conditions index moved sharply lower.

Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie says "With each passing week, and movement in house prices in excess of income growth, affordability and the ability to save that deposit worsens. Who wants to get caught in that traffic gridlock anyway?"

A net 36 percent of respondents believe it is a good time to buy a major household item, unchanged from a month ago.

ANZ says the relatively high New Zealand dollar will also be helping.

The kiwi gave up some of its recent gains overnight.

The dollar was trading at 72.09 US cents at 6am, down almost one percent.

It was almost one and a half percent lower against the Australan dollar, sitting at 94.37 Australian cents.

The Kiwi had lost over two percent against the Pound, trading at 54.10 pence.

Much of the Kiwi's weakness came on the back of market speculation that the Reserve Bank might cut the Official Cash Rate next month.

That was after the Reserve Bank said it will issue a brief economic update next Thursday.

The markets are pricing in a sixty percent chance of a rate cut, compared to forty percent a week ago.