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February 5, 2008

New Zealand sees consumer confidence falling

by Richard Kilner

Story link: New Zealand sees consumer confidence falling

According to big New Zealand bank ASB consumer confidence continues to fall as the financial world remains unsettled by the US subprime mortgage crisis.

The bank’s latest quarterly survey reveals that a mere 19% of those asked considered things to be improving, down from 22% and 29% respectively from the two previous surveys.

The bank’s investment services chief, Jonathan Beale, has described last year as being one of two distinct halves.

Initially, both globally and in New Zealand specifically, the financial world wasin good health with rising share prices and a good housing market.

However, the latter half, hit by the US subprime mortgage crisis, saw credit tighten significantly and consumer confidence fall.

Beale believes that the drop in consumer confidence is primarily caused by what consumers read, rather than how their own personal investments are doing.

KiwiSaver is now known by 95% of respondents, compared to 72% one year ago.

However, the number of people aware of KiwiSaver but not willing to use it also rose, up to 43% from 33% in the previous quarter.

 

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