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Consumer Confidence slowly edges higher

Consumer confidence gained 1.3 per cent last week amid falling petrol prices. Among the major states, confidence increased in NSW and WA, while it dropped in Victoria, Queensland and SA.


• ‘Weekly inflation expectations’ remained steady at 5.8 per cent despite a significant drop in petrol prices. Its four-week moving average was also unchanged at 6.0 per cent.


• All the confidence subindices registered gains for a second consecutive week. ‘Current financial conditions’ increased by 1.1 per cent and ‘future financial conditions’ rose 1.0 per cent.


• ‘Current economic conditions’ increased by 0.7 per cent after a 4.7 per cent increase the week before. ‘Future economic conditions’ rose 1.8 per cent.


• ‘Time to buy a major household item’ increased 1.6 per cent.

"Consumer confidence rose by 1.3 per cent last week, adding to the prior week’s gain of 2.5 per cent, as petrol prices dropped sharply for a second straight week." ANZ Head of Australian Economics, David Plank said.


"Confidence remains below neutral and well below its long-run average. Household inflation expectations remained unchanged at 5.8 per cent, despite lower petrol prices. With the terminal gate prices of petrol declining further last week, retail prices are likely to be even lower in the coming weeks. The flow-through of the reduction in petrol excise should provide additional impetus. This should lead to lower inflation expectations and, along with the Easter holidays, this is likely to boost sentiment.


Among the states, confidence rose in NSW by 6.1 per cent, after four straight weeks of decline. Confidence also rose in WA (10.4 per cent), while it dropped in Victoria (-1.3 per cent), Queensland (-0.2 per cent) and SA (-10.7 per cent)."


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