Consumer confidence rose strongly in the first week of 2014, according to the Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Confidence Rating.
The survey shows confidence was driven higher by increased optimism about personal finance and Australian economic conditions over the next 12 months, while there was also increased confidence about buying major household items.
“This week’s rise was driven by increasing confidence that ‘now is a good time to buy major household items’ and that Australians expect to be ‘better off financially’ this time next year,” said Gary Morgan, executive chairman of the Roy Morgan research house.
Forty-three per cent of Australians expect to be “better off” financially this time next year, up two per cent from the December 2013 results, while only 14 per cent expect their family to be “worse off”, down one per cent.
The rise in sentiment approximately offsets the softening of the index in December following several pieces of bad news, including the closure of Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations, the retrenchment of 1,000 employees at Qantas and a huge federal Budget blowout announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey.
The index jumped to 116.4, up by 4.6 points, in the first weekend of 2014 as Australians enjoyed their summer holiday (including recent cricket successs), Mr Morgan said, but noted that despite this week’s rise, consumer confidence remains slightly lower than one year ago.