Consumer confidence dipped 0.4% to 113.2 last week following on from the 1.7% rise over the previous fortnight, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan survey.
That leaves confidence a little above the long run average. But in context with big falls in petrol prices across Australia the outcome shows a disappointing lack of traction between what are significant household savings and confidence.
Perhaps Australians still see forex markets as a competitive sport because the ANZ suggested confidence was held back by the fall under 80 cents last Friday. They said , “Confidence in the economic outlook over the year ahead – the sub-index most correlated with the AUD – fell 3.2%.”
Commenting on the data ANZ Chief Economist Warren Hogan redoubled his call for an RBA interest rate cut saying:
Consumer confidence has been steady around its long-run average for around six months with surprisingly little volatility. It appears that the impetus from continuing asset price gains and lower petrol prices is being outweighed by concerns about job security, weak wages growth, a lower AUD (which reduces spending power on overseas goods and travel) and concerns about the Federal government budget. As such, we think further stimulus is required to boost “animal spirits” in the consumer sector.