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Consumer confidence edges up

Friday, 8 October 2010 | By Oliver Milman

There is further evidence that consumer confidence is slowly recovering, with research showing that a clear majority of Australians feel that now is a good time to make major purchases.

 

The Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating now stands at 122.9, up 1.5 points compared with September. However, consumer confidence is still 4.4 points compared with last year.

 

Of those polled by Roy Morgan, 59% said that now was a good time to buy major household items, the highest since January. Only 15% feel that the current climate is a bad one for major purchases.

 

More consumers are feeling wealthier too, with 32% saying that their family is better off financially than a year ago, up 3% on September. Meanwhile, 28% of Australians said they were worse off than a year ago.

 

The data underscores other recent research that shows that consumer confidence is edging up ahead of the crucial Christmas trading period.

However, business groups have warned that any interest rate rises by the banks will badly hit companies and could hamper their recovery following the economic downturn.

 

Commenting on the results, Gary Morgan, executive chairman of Roy Morgan, says: “Australians are also more confident about economic conditions in Australia as a whole, with 40% of Australians expecting both ‘good times’ financially for the country over the next 12 months and also ‘continuous good times’ during the next five years or so.”