24 Dec 2008

Consumer confidence falls

6:08 am on 24 December 2008

Consumer confidence has fallen in the December quarter as people worry about the effect of the global downturn.

The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index fell from 104.8 to 101.3 as confidence about the near-term fell sharply.

Canterbury, Waikato and Northland all recorded significant declines.

However, consumers felt more upbeat about the economy's long term prospects.

The reading indicates that optimists still outnumber pessimists, but it reverses some of the gains made in the previous quarter and comes despite tax cuts, falling fuel prices and lower interest rates.

Despite these factors, Westpac senior economist Donna Perdue says the prospect of a deep global recession in the coming year has knocked consumer sentiment.