Australian Consumer Confidence Up a Little, But Doldrums Persist Amid Mortgage Pain

By James Glynn

SYDNEY–Australian consumer confidence climbed in the last week but remains at levels below those seen in some of the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Consumer confidence increased by 2.3 points last week, its sixth straight week in the narrow band between 75 points and 78.5 points, according to a survey by ANZ Bank and pollster Roy Morgan.

Even scores of 80 points were seen during the Delta lockdowns that brought the economy to a standstill in mid-2021.

Despite continuing strength in hiring and rising hopes that official interest rates are set to remain on hold for some time to come, consumers are struggling with rising living costs and falling real wages, the survey said.

Confidence is suffering as a vast number of households are now transitioning from ultra-low fixed interest rates to massively increased variable interest rates, with the pain currently at its most acute.

ANZ Senior Economist, Adelaide Timbrell, said the confidence impact of falling real wages due to inflation continues to offset the positives in the economy and is likely the main factor that has kept the index in very weak territory for the past six months.

Not even recent news that Australia women’s football team had finished fourth in the FIFA world cup held on home turf, their highest ever finish, has done much to lift consumers out of the doldrums.

Still, there was some good news for the Reserve Bank of Australia as weekly inflation expectations fell 0.3 percentage points, to 5.2%. Its four-week moving average softened to 5.3% from 5.4%, according to the survey.

Sentiment around current financial conditions remained unchanged, while future financial conditions were up 5.0 points, more than offsetting the 4.2-point decline the week prior.

Current economic conditions gained 3.0 points last week, while future economic conditions rose 0.9 points. Consumers were more upbeat on the question of buying a major household appliance, with the measure also up 3.0 points, the data showed.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian consumer confidence rating is based on 1,519 interviews conducted online and over the telephone during the week to Sunday.

Write to James Glynn at

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