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NZ consumer sentiment on the rise

NZN 19/01/2017 Rebecca Howard

Consumer sentiment rose in January to its highest level since April 2015 as economic momentum continues, the ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ Consumer Confidence index has revealed.

The consumer confidence index rose 4.2 points to 128.7 in January, with the current conditions index up 4.7 points to 129.8 and the future conditions index up 4.0 points to 128.1.

"The summer weather might be dodgy so far, but consumers have started 2017 on a high," ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said after the data was released on Thursday.

He said there's "good reasons" for the optimism, including a solid run in job ads, modest inflation and a huge improvement in the outlook for dairy.

While the housing market may be levelling out, Mr Bagrie noted "property-owning households have been given a huge wealth boost".

The survey of 1,000 people found a net 34 per cent of respondents said they were better off now than a year ago and a net 48 per cent expect to be better off in 12 months time.

In December, a net 36 per cent said they were better off while a net 46 expected to be better off in 12 months time.

A net 65 per cent of respondents see now as a good time to buy a big-ticket item, versus 58 in December.

The survey found a net 25 per cent of respondents were optimistic about the economy over the coming 12 months, up from 22 per cent in December while a net 25 per cent were upbeat about the next five years versus a net 18 per cent in December.

On inflation, respondents expect prices will rise an annual 3.7 per cent over the next two years, compared to 3.4 per cent in December, while house prices are seen rising at a 4.3 per cent annual pace, compared to 5.4 per cent in December.

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