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ANZ-Roy Morgan New Zealand Consumer Confidence down 16pts to 106.3 in March

Consumer confidence fell 16 points in March to 106. Given the country only went into level 2 alert at the end of the interviewing period, this is just the start, presumably.
Consumer confidence fell 16 points in March to 106. Given the country only went into level 2 alert at the end of the interviewing period, this is just the start, presumably.
  • The proportion of households who think it’s a good time to buy a major household item plummeted from 41% to 16%.
  • Even if consumers wanted to spend, their ability to do so is now severely curtailed.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index fell sharply in March, unsurprisingly.

Turning to the detail:
  • Consumers’ perceptions of their current financial situation fell only 2 points. A net 12% feel financially better off than a year ago.
  • A net 17% of consumers expect to be better off financially this time next year, but this is down 15 points.
  • A net 16% think it’s a good time to buy a major household item, down 25. (Anecdotally, second freezers, computer equipment and home entertainment systems have been in high demand this week.)
  • Perceptions regarding the next year’s economic outlook plunged 42 points to a net 39% expecting conditions to worsen, the weakest since March 2009. This series is most correlated with business confidence. However, the five-year outlook rose 5 points to +25%.
  • House price inflation expectations eased from 5.6% to 4.6%, with Auckland the only centre to lift, once more taking top spot nationally. Inflation expectations slipped 0.4%pts to 3.4%.

New Zealand consumers were feeling pretty good in February, with a lifting housing market, plentiful job opportunities, and low interest rates. Times have changed rapidly – more so than what’s been captured in this month’s survey. Figure 2 shows a sharp hit in the desire to spend, despite house price expectations still holding up (figure 3), but with households now in lockdown and non-essential businesses closed, the hit to retail is obviously going to be much, much larger than this.


 

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Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2