17 Dec 2012

Consumer confidence high

9:30 pm on 17 December 2012

Consumer confidence is at its highest level in more than a year, with households more positive about the present and more optimistic for the future.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index rose to 111 points in the three months to December, up nearly 9 points from the previous quarter.

A figure greater than 100 shows optimists outweight pessimists.

Westpac said people are more positive about the global economy, the rebuilding of Canterbury and low prices for consumer goods.

The bank said low interest rates and a stronger housing market may also help lift confidence.

The survey showed a net 12% of households continued to report their financial situation has deteriorated over the past year.

However, this was the least downbeat that households have been about their finances since December 2007.

A net 8% of households are expecting an improvement in their financial situation over the coming year.