Australian Consumer Confidence Dented by Weak Economic Data

Consumer confidence has slumped to a 14-month low amid renewed worries about Australia’s economy. The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index slipped 5.8 per cent last week after official figures showed Australia’s economy grew by a weaker-than-expected 0.2 per cent in the June quarter. The index slipped to 106.7, its lowest level since July 2014 and well below its long-run average of 112.7.

ANZ’s co-head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said that while confidence levels had held up during August despite volatility on financial markets, last week’s weak economic data had hit household sentiment. “In particular, weak June quarter GDP and an unexpected fall in July retail spending seem to have rattled consumers,” she said.

“The magnitude of the fall in confidence is concerning, being the largest weekly fall we’ve seen since around middle of 2012. This highlights consumers fragility in the current economic environment.” The survey found that the dip in confidence was broad based, with people increasingly worried about economic conditions and household finances.