ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence was up 1.4pts to 83.1 this week, following the halt of interest rates last week by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Despite the increase, the index has now spent a record 60 straight weeks below the mark of 85. Consumer c onfidence is now 6.5 points above the same week a year ago, and virtually identical to the weekly average of 83.0.

“Consumer confidence rose 1.4pts last week after the RBA shifted its language in a more dovish direction and labour market data surprised to the upside, with employment rising by over 100k in February,” ANZ economist Madeline Dunk said.

“Recent progress in inflation expectations hit a roadblock, with the series rising 0.3pts to 5.1 per cent. Confidence amongst renters lifted 7.1pts to its highest level since early January. 

“Despite this, renters remain the least confident amongst the three housing cohorts. Confidence is currently 3pts lower for renters compared to households paying off a mortgage.”

Looking around the states, consumer confidence was up in New South Wales and Victoria, down in Western Australia, and virtually unchanged in Queensland and South Australia.

Key drivers in consumer confidence this week were improvements in views on personal finances - both compared to a year ago and look forward over the next year.

Now 21 per cent of Australians (up 3ppts) say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year compared to a majority of 52 per cent (unchanged) that say their families are ‘worse off’.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent (up 2ppts) are expecting their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year while another 31 per cent (down 1ppt) expect to be ‘worse off’.

Just one-in-ten Australians (10 per cent - unchanged) expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next twelve months compared to 32 per cent (up 1ppt) that expect ‘bad times’.

Net sentiment regarding the Australian economy in the longer term improved slightly this week with 15 per cent (up 3ppts) of Australians expecting ‘good times’ for the economy over the next five years compared to 21 per cent (up 1ppt) expecting ‘bad times’.

Buying intentions shifted slightly with 21 per cent (up 1ppt) of Australians saying now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items while 50 per cent (up 1ppt) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’.

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