April 26, 2018 / 10:22 PM / a year ago

New Zealand consumer confidence falls in April -ANZ survey

SYDNEY, April 27 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in New Zealand took a sudden turn lower in April with optimism on the economic outlook darkening even as the labour market stays strong, a survey showed on Friday.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index fell 7.5 points to 120.5 in April. A reading above 100 shows optimism, while below that indicates pessimism. The reading was just above the average of the series since it began in 2004.

Expectations for consumer price inflation over the next two years rose to 4.0 percent, from 3.4 percent in the previous survey.

The measure of the next year’s economic outlook fell a sharp 12 points to +13 percent, back to its December low. The five-year outlook eased 7 points to +18 percent, the lowest since May last year.

A net 25 percent of consumers expected to be better off financially this time next year, down 10 points.

Yet a net 37 percent still said it was a good time to buy a major household item, auguring well for durables spending.

“Consumer confidence has dipped, with the catalyst not immediately clear,” said ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner, noting the labour market was strong, wages looked set to rise, and the housing market was relatively steady.

“The fall appears to reflect increased wariness of what the future may bring.” (Reporting by Wayne Cole Editing by Chris Reese)

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