New Zealand Consumer Confidence Up in August as Rates Peak Extends

By James Glynn

SYDNEY–Consumer confidence in New Zealand rose by one point in August as the country’s central bank continued to indicate interest rates have peaked.

Consumer confidence rose one point in August to 85.0, with the lift driven by an increase in the question of whether it is a good time to buy a major household item, which rose from -39% to -31%, according to a survey by the ANZ Bank and pollster Roy Morgan.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand left interest rates unchanged at a policy meeting in mid-August, but indicated they will need to stay high for some time yet.

How confident households are feeling still depends to some extent on whether they have debt, said ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner.

Those paying down mortgages were much less negative in August than in July. It is a somewhat surprising result given that fixed mortgage rates continued to edge higher last month, Zollner added.

Inflation expectations were virtually unchanged at 4.6% in August, and perceptions of current personal financial situations lifted one point to -24%, the data showed.

A net 13% of consumers said they expect to be better off this time next year, while perceptions regarding the economic outlook in 12 months’ time eased two points to -34%.

Write to James Glynn at

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