New Zealanders are increasingly concerned about their job security and prospects, according to a new survey from Nielsen. Job confidence has slumped, with 71 percent of respondents characterizing local job prospects as "not so good" or "bad," compared to just 38 percent who had that view six months ago.
Consumer confidence has also taken a hit, showing a nine-point drop to 90 since the survey was last conducted in October 2008. Despite that drop, Kiwis' confidence is strong compared to other Asia Pacific countries - 12 points higher - and 13 points higher than the global index. Overall, New Zealand ranked ninth out of the fifty countries Nielsen tracks.
Other concerns to New Zealanders include the economy and personal debt. Interestingly, a number of issues have become less of a concern over the last six months, including food price increases and the cost of fuel.
Perhaps the most surprising finding from the survey is that 42 percent of those surveyed said it was a good time to buy the things they want and need, up nine points from six months ago and outpacing the global index.
"New Zealanders' optimism that now is a good time to spend money is perhaps reflective of aggressive discounting and promotional activity being undertaken by retailers, coupled with the Government's recent tax reductions," said Susanna Baggaley, Executive Director, Consumer Research for Nielsen New Zealand. "Along with lower interest rates and the reduction in fuel prices, consumers are now beginning to feel they have more money in their pockets."
Read the full press release on consumer confidence here.