13 Sep 2013

Consumer confidence eases, but still buoyant

8:18 pm on 13 September 2013

Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in six months, but economists say the mood remains buoyant.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan monthly survey of sentiment slipped 4 points from 123 to 118.8 in August, which is just above the historical average and the lowest reading since March.

A reading above 100 shows optimism.

ANZ says respondents feel marginally worse off financially, compared with a year ago, and slightly less optimistic about their own financial prospects and whether it's a good time to buy a major household item.

The bank says higher mortgage rates and forthcoming restrictions on low deposit loans could be behind waning sentiment.

But bank economists say people remain upbeat and the survey is consistent with a more moderate pace of consumer spending.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie told Checkpoint confidence isn't as bad as the statistics seem.