Consumer confidence is falling and that's not good.
Or maybe it is...if you're keen to act counter cyclically!
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index dropped by 3.5% last week to its lowest level in over two years.
And that's not really surprising is it, considering all the negative news about the potential of a recession, overseas trade wars, bombing in Saudi Arabia etc.
‘Time to buy a household item’ was the only subindex in the positive, eking out a 0.2% gain.
- The financial conditions subcomponents dropped sharply. Current finances were down 4.6%, the third consecutive weekly decline, while future finances were down 4.8%.
- The economic conditions subindices were also down, with current economic conditions losing 0.6% and future economic conditions falling by a sharp 7.6%, bringing it to a two-year low.
- The four-week moving average for inflation expectations increased by 0.1ppt to 4.1%, despite a small decline in the weekly reading.
As a business owner and property investor I keep a careful track of consumer confidence as it gives a great indication on what's ahead.
Perception is reality - is consumers lack confidence they won't spend - they'll sit on the sidelines with their hands in their pockets.
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Of course savvy investors don't get phased by the short term ups and downs recognising that downturns are sometimes a great countercyclical opportunity.
ANZ Senior Economist, Felicity Emmett, commented:
“ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence fell to two year low last week. While households feel okay about their current financial situation, they are clearly quite worried about the outlook, for both their own finances and the economy. Last week’s reported fall in business conditions to a five-year low, the weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil and ongoing broader concerns about both the domestic and global economic outlook are now clearly weighing on consumer sentiment. This is a disappointing development and suggests that expectations for tax and interest rate cuts to spur the consumer to lift the economy may be misplaced.”