24 Sep 2009

Consumer confidence highest in 4 years

2:05 pm on 24 September 2009

Confidence among consumers is at a four-year high, according to the latest survey.

The Wespac McDermott Miller's consumer confidence index jumped 14 points in the September quarter to stand at 120.3.

A figure over 100 indicates there are more optimists than pessimists. The result is the highest in four years, and well above the series average of 111.4.

A net 17% of consumers expect good economic times over the coming year, compared to three months ago, when a net 29% of people were expecting bad times. The change is the sharpest upturn in confidence in nine years.

A net 24% of people expect their own financial position to improve, a seven-year high.

Consumers are only slightly less optimistic about the economy's prospects over a five-year horizon.

Westpac economists say high debt, rising unemployment and tighter credit will curtail a spending boom but still expect some increase in spending to result from rocketing consumer confidence.