New Zealand Cosumer Confidence Falls
December 23, 2011 New Zealand Finance
New Zealanders are increasingly pessimistic about the economy, and new research shows that consumer confidence levels have hit the lowest point since 2009.
On December 19th Westpac bank and the consultancy firm McDermott Miller released a joint report on New Zealanders’ outlooks for the national economy, stating that consumer confidence has fallen sharply over the December quarter.
According to the report, the New Zealand Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 101 points, and has fallen by 10.7 points since the September quarter. The latest drop is sharper than the loss in consumer confidence recorded following the Christchurch earthquakes, and the Index now stands lower than the most pessimistic point throughout the global financial crisis.
The new research indicates that almost 22 percent of New Zealanders expect to see a significant economic downturn in the near future, compared to only 2 percent of people during the September quarter. Approximately 13 percent of New Zealanders believe that now is a good time to purchase large household items, compared to 30 percent in the September quarter.
Richard Miller, Managing Director of strategic planning at McDermott Miller, commented on the results of the Index, saying that consumers from rural regions are particular pessimistic about the economy. He suggested that New Zealand consumer confidence was currently very fragile, and could become even more pessimistic if the concerns of rural consumers spread to cities.