The number of consumers believing now is a good time to buy a major household item rose to a five-year high in January, even though most people feel financially worse off than a year ago.
The latest ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose four points in January to 118.3. A reading over 100 indicates optimists outweigh pessimists.
A net 38% of consumers believe now is a good time to buy a big-ticket item - the highest reading since 2007.
ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie says it's an encouraging signal, though also a little worrying.
Mr Bagrie also says confidence among Aucklanders hit a two-and-a-half-year high in January, boosted by higher property prices
House price expectations are the highest in Auckland and Canterbury, with both regions expecting a lift of 4.4% in prices over the next two years.