Just over half of Australians believe that now is a good time to buy major household items, and a third expect ‘good times’ for the economy in the next 12 months.
The latest Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating remained stable for the first half of January, although the index has dropped 5.3 points when compared to the same time last year.
Australians are slightly more confident about their personal finances over the next 12 months, the results show, with 41 per cent of Australians expecting to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year compared to only 13 per cent that expect their family to be ‘worse off’ financially.
However, executive chairman of Roy Morgan Gary Morgan said indicators pointed to a poor sentiment result in the coming weeks.
“Although consumer confidence has been fairly consistent in January… the Australian dollar is now trading at a three and a half-year low, under US88 cents [which is] likely to impact negatively on consumer confidence in the weeks ahead if sustained,” he said.
Mr Morgan also pointed to a weak stock market to compound the poor sentiment from the low dollar.
“Next week’s RBA meeting is the first chance for RBA Governor Glenn Stevens to signal the RBA’s support for the Australian economy this year by cutting interest rates, while the resumption of federal parliament a week later gives the Abbott government the chance to present badly needed reforms to increase productivity and labour market flexibility in the Australian economy,” he said.