17 Feb 2012

Confidence improves once seasonal influences removed

6:07 am on 17 February 2012

Confidence amongst consumers has dropped this month, but optimism is improving when seasonal factors are removed.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer confidence index went down about 3 points from the previous month to 116.1.

A reading above 100 shows optimism.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie says if seasonal influences, such as holidays ending and getting back to work are removed, the index improves.

After removing the seasonal elements, he says the underlying picture between January and February showed a little bit of a pick-up.

Mr Bagrie says it's only one month's data, but it's an encouraging first step.

He says there's a weakening labour market, a barrage of bad news about the global economy and the persistent rising cost of core staples.

But conversely Mr Bagrie says there is an improving property market, which perhaps is starting to flow into a broader lift in consumer confidence.