Confidence continued with its forward march last week, gaining 0.9 per cent. This takes it back to where it was in mid-December. The financial and economic sub-indices were mixed, while the ‘time to buy a household item’ index strengthened solidly.
Current finances gained 3.4 per cent vis-a-vis weakness of 5.5 per cent seen in the previous reading. In contrast, future finances declined 2.5 per cent, reversing some of the 4.6 per cent gain seen over the three previous surveys.
Current economic conditions gained 2.2 per cent, while future economic conditions fell by 3 per cent. These subindices were up 6.1 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively, in the previous reading.
‘Time to buy a major household item’ was up 4.7 per cent, its highest level since October. The four-week moving average of ‘inflation expectations’ was stable at 3.9 per cent. However, the weekly reading was back above 4 per cent for the first time in two weeks.