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Monday, January 30 2023

Canberra: Australia’s consumer confidence falls for 5th straight week

Photo Credit : IANS

Canberra: Australia’s consumer confidence has fallen for the fifth consecutive week, marking a longest span of decline in over two years since August 2020, showed a consumer confidence report released on Tuesday.

The latest report by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Roy Morgan market research company said the country’s consumer confidence decreased by 1.5 per cent to 79.9 points in the week to October 30, 28.5 points less than a year earlier and 9.9 points less than the 2022 weekly average of 89.8, reports Xinhua news agency.

The report also revealed that the proportion of survey respondents who think they are financially worse off than a year earlier has risen to 47 per cent, the highest since March 2020.

Looking forward, 28 per cent of Australians expect their family to be “better off” financially this time next year while 37 per cent expect to be “worse off”, according to the report.

The decline in consumer confidence came after Australia’s consumer price index rose 1.8 per cent in the September quarter and 7.3 per cent annually, marking the highest annual increase in over three decades.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced another interest rate hike, by 25 basis points to 2.85 per cent, the seventh rise in a row.

“Cost of living concerns, along with expectations of more rate hikes by the RBA, have caused confidence to decline to levels last seen during the early weeks of the Covid lockdowns,” said ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank.

“This is also reflected in the 15.6 per cent decline in confidence among people paying off their mortgages over the past six weeks.”

Plank added that the continued decline in confidence seems to hold back on spending, as ANZ data for October indicating the usual run-up at this time is not occurring.

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