Australian consumers are perking up, a sign some of the good news is sinking in

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

One of the key learnings from last year’s budget was how hard it knocked consumer confidence and how badly that then affected the government’s standing in the electorate and the overall domestic economy.

As we approach the budget — May 12 — confidence has sagged again, with consumers worried of a repeat of last year’s shocks.

But in a sign Australian consumers are perking up and the recent run of positive data is starting to sink in, this morning the ANZ reported that its Weekly Consumer Confidence Survey “rebounded 2.8% last week.”

That’s taken back most of the “the cumulative 3.1% fall over the previous three weeks,” the ANZ said. They also warned confidence remained below average and is still trending down — which is true.

But the ANZ says “the improvement last week was fairly broad-based, with particular strength in expectations of the economic outlook over the next year (+8.6%).”

ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan warned the down trend continues but noted:

A good jobs report for March, continued strength in housing markets and the Government’s positioning of the upcoming Budget appear to have helped support confidence in the past week.

It seems, more than ever, that Joe Hockey and his budget announcement will be key to consumer confidence and increasingly the only unknown black cloud in an improving Australian economic landscape.

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