Consumer confidence is at an all time low within Australia, as consumers grow increasingly worried about low wages and high costs of housing and living, according to ANZ.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index fell 2.4% to a level of 111.1 points in the week ending April 2, remaining just above the 100 level separating optimism and pessimism. This has left the index below the survey long average of 112.9 points.
The Head of Australian Economics at ANZ, David Plank, discussed said that the numbers have been falling since the beginning of the year.
“Consumers have been becoming less confident about the outlook for some months. This may be why retail sales were so weak in February,” Plank said. “If confidence continues to waver, then it seems reasonable to expect additional impacts on consumer spending.”
Plank also mentioned that underemployment within the labour market was a reason for consumer confidence to go down.
“Underemployment in the labour market has ticked up recently and we may still be some way from a noticeable upturn in wages,” he says. “This in turn is weighing on household income growth which we believe is one of the reasons behind the downward trend in consumer sentiment.”
Although people in Australia appear to be wealthier than ever, it’s clear that Australians aren’t feeling too confident with regard to their finances and the choices that they make with their money.
Survey respondents were 2.8% less optimistic about their current finances, and they were 2.1% more pessimistic about their future finances.
It’s not looking too good for the predicted retail recovery, considering retail sales turnover fell 0.1% in February. This resulted in only a 2.7% increase in retails sales on last year’s sales. This is the weakest increase recorded in close to four years.