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Consumer confidence up to five-month high

NZN 20/06/2017 Paul McBeth

New Zealand consumer confidence rose to a five-month high on a strong labour market and the government's boost to household incomes, announced in last month's Budget.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose to 127.8 in June from 123.9 a month earlier, the highest reading since January. Of that, the current conditions index edged up 0.6 of a point to 129.4 while the future conditions measure climbed 5.5 points to 126.7.

"While housing market momentum is slowing, there is still plenty for consumers to smile about: jobs, a high New Zealand dollar that's keeping prices down, and the government's $2 billion family package injection to name just a few," ANZ Bank New Zealand chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in a note.

"Our confidence composite gauge (which combines business and consumer sentiment, and so covers both the production and spending sides of the economy) continues to flag roaring economic momentum."

The survey follows a similar reading on Monday by a rival measure, the Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index, which showed growing optimism for the June quarter. Again, respondents were more upbeat about the future while being more reticent about their present situation.

Tuesday's ANZ index shows a net 33 per cent of the 1001 respondents surveyed expect to be better off in 12 months' time, compared to 32 per cent in May, whereas a net 14 per cent said they were better off now than a year earlier, down from 16 per cent a month ago.

A net 25 per cent anticipate better times ahead for the economy over the next 12 months.

Of those surveyed, a net 45 per cent say now is a good time to buy high-value consumer goods, the highest reading since January.

The survey showed inflation expectations for the next two years eased to an annual pace of 3.5 per cent.

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