The annual Mastercard Index of Consumers Confidence measures the feel of consumers – whether it be cautious, happy, unsure etc. This year’s Index remained stable, indicating that New Zealand consumers feel confident – a measure which indicates the strength of the New Zealand economy. Although there was a 1.7% decrease, the previous period was our most confident period since 2010, so the slight decrease is not too much to be concerned about. The Index measures a variety of factors – the economy, employment, quality of life, the stock market, and regular income. While all of these fell very slightly, the regular income category increased; meaning that New Zealanders feel more positive about their ability to earn a regular income. When consumers feel confident, they spend more, which boosts our economy. As such, it is fair to say that many New Zealand sectors are experiencing a boost related to this, and the standard of living across New Zealand increases as a result of economic growth. Despite our almost record level of confidence, we are slightly below average in the Asia Pacific region, although this may be affected by countries who are still developing and have economies which are growing more rapidly than ours (which would make consumers within that country feel more confident).
Of course, the important thing is that New Zealand was one place higher on the Index of Consumer Confidence than Australia.