Separate figures from ANZ-Roy Morgan and NAB have shown that concerns about the economy has dragged down consumer confidence – and has been for a while.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence Index has dropped for the third week in a row by 3.5 per cent, according to the latest weekly update.
While all sub-indices fell, consumers had particularly negative outlooks towards future financial and economic conditions, which fell by 7.6 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively.
Levels of confidence in current financial and economic conditions also declined by 1.3 per cent and 0.8 of a percentage point.
Consumers were also less inclined to buy household goods, with the ‘time to buy a household item’ sub-index falling 1.5 per cent.
ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank described the “sharp deterioration” in confidence as “disappointing” and possibly reflective of turbulence in Australian politics at the moment.
“The decline in confidence may reflect the impact of the messy political debate locally and the associated slump in support for the current Turnbull government, as revealed in the recent Fairfax-Ipsos poll.
“The sharp fall in future (rather than current) conditions provides some evidence of this,” Mr Plank said.
“The considerable media focus on the impact of the drought may also have affected sentiment. Despite the recent declines, overall consumer confidence is still above its long-term average.”
Additionally, NAB’s latest consumer behaviour survey also revealed that consumer confidence had been taking a hit for the last three months.
Consumer anxiety had risen “steeply” in the second quarter of 2018, also due in part to concerns surrounding the economy as well as household finances.