Consumer confidence slips on RBA cut

Consumer confidence retreated at the weekend as households appeared to turn cautious after the latest cut to the cash rate, according to an ANZ survey that had recorded a surge in sentiment in the previous reading.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index fell 2.1 per cent from the previous week, with a 4.7 per cent slump in how respondents felt about the financial circumstances of themselves and their family compared with 12 months ago.

The weekly measure of consumer mood, which is based on about 1,000 face-to-face interviews conducted on Saturdays and Sundays, also registered a 5.0 per cent fall in people’s perceptions about their finances over the next year.

Respondents were also more gloomy about the outlook for the Australian economy, with sentiment about the next 12 months falling 1.7 per cent and optimism about the next five years declining 1.1 per cent.

“Last week’s bounce in ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence wasn’t sustained and sentiment is now back below the long term average,” ANZ economist Felicity Emmett said.

The poll released on Tuesday is the first reading of public mood since the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to an unprecedented low of 0.75 per cent on October 1.

Consumer sentiment also went backwards immediately after the central bank’s two other rate cuts earlier this year.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index fell 2.0 per cent after the RBA cut in June and dipped 1.1 per cent following its move in July.

“The RBA is likely to be disappointed about the inability for either confidence or spending to lift materially despite significant monetary and fiscal stimulus,” Emmett said.

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