17 Mar 2011

Shoppers more pessimistic after quake

1:06 pm on 17 March 2011

The Christchurch earthquake has severely dented consumer confidence.

The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence index fell more than ten points to 97.9 in March.

A reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists.

Westpac senior economist Dominick Stephens says consumers are much more pessimistic about the short-term economic outlook.

He attributes the fall in confidence to the earthquake.

Approximately 60% of people specifically cited the quake for their loss of confidence, and the decline was felt across the country, not just in Canterbury.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index, which was released on Wednesday, showed consumer confidence had fallen to a two-and-a-half year low.