New Zealand consumer confidence remained at 100 in Q1 2014, beginning the year ten points higher than the same time period a year ago (Q1 2013). New Zealand was ahead of Australia, where consumer confidence decreased four points from a year ago to 89, and above the global average (96).
The three main drivers for confidence in New Zealand all increased compared to a year ago (Q1 2013). Those whose perceptions of local job prospects being good or excellent increased by twenty-one percentage points (55%), a positive view on their personal finances increased by five percentage points (58%) and those who felt it was a good time to buy things they want and need by eleven percentage points (43%).
Recessionary sentiment improved in New Zealand for the seventh consecutive quarter with nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers believing the country is now out of an economic recession. An improvement of twenty-six percentage points from the same time a year ago (Q1 2013), the most positive since the question was first asked in the survey in 2008.
Rob Clark, managing director, Nielsen New Zealand, said: “Confidence is being driven by over half of consumers saying the job market would be good or excellent in the upcoming year. This contrasts with Australia where consumers are less positive about local job prospects.”
Nick Tuffley, chief economist, ASB Bank, adds further comment, “The economy has been gradually strengthening over the past year, and for calendar 2014 is likely to register solid growth of around 3.5%. As the recovery has steadily progressed it is no surprise that increasingly fewer people believe the country is in recession. Consumer confidence levelled out in Q1 compared to Q4 2013, possibly influenced by higher interest rates coming back on the radar. But the level of confidence is solid and bodes well for consumer spending over the near term.”
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns, and spending intentions among more than 30,000 respondents with Internet access in 60 countries. In the latest round of the survey, conducted February 17 – March 7, 2014, consumer confidence increased in 60 percent of markets measured by Nielsen—up from 43 percent the previous quarter (Q4 2013).
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions was conducted Feb. 17 – March 7, 2014, and polled more than 30,000 online consumers in 60 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on its Internet users, is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%. This Nielsen survey is based on the behaviour of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion. The China Consumer Confidence Index is compiled from a separate mixed methodology survey among 3,500 respondents in China. The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.