Australian consumer confidence is volatile ahead of next week's budget

Three men sit on a bench. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Australian consumers are less worried than they were prior to the release of last year’s budget, according to ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan. But they remain in a volatile mood, with last week’s the ANZ – Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Confidence Index falling 2.8%.

That’s a full retracement of the previous week’s bounce.

Hogan said: “looking through the weekly volatility, confidence has been trending lower since late last year and remains below long-run average levels.”

That’s problematic for the economic recovery but it’s worth noting that subdued confidence levels have not stopped retail sales from gradually improving on an average monthly basis over the past year since confidence crashed in the wake of the 2014 Budget.

Hogan added that “while we could see further weakness in sentiment in coming weeks, the government’s intention to make this a ‘dull’ budget suggests any fall in confidence is unlikely to be as severe as in 2014.”

Joe Hockey has never been so important to the economic outlook.

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