Consumer confidence bounced in June, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index rose eight points to 104.5.

The only area still in negative territory was the outlook for the economy as a whole in 12 months and even that improved. 

“New Zealand consumers are feeling more confident as life returns largely to normal and realise just how lucky we are. We’re getting on with our lives,” says ANZ Bank chief economist Sharon Zollner. 

The index dropped as low as 84.8 in April. 

NZ lifted all lockdown restrictions, with the exception of the border, at 11:59pm on June 8. 

Zollner, however, continues to sound a note of caution.

"We've had a solid dousing of cold water. Many people are worried about their jobs, or have lost them already, and the housing market is expected to be weak."

However, of the 998 people surveyed in June, a net 32 per cent expect to be better off financially this time next year, up nine points and back to the level it was in February.

Could be worse

Regarding economic conditions in New Zealand as a whole, a net 37 per cent expect the country to be worse off this time next year. While dire, it is an improvement from the net 46 per cent who felt that way in the May survey.

Meanwhile, a net five per cent think it is now a good time to buy a major household item versus a net 15 per cent who feel it's not a good time in the prior survey.

Retail data has shown consumers rushed out once the lockdown was lifted, and while demand has been elevated, retailers are wary that it won't last, especially as people start losing their jobs once the wage subsidy runs out. 

ANZ's confidence composite index, which combines business expectations and intentions with overall consumer sentiment, lifted in June although it “remains very low,” says Zollner.  

ANZ's preliminary reading on June business confidence showed a net 33 per cent of early respondents expect the economy to deteriorate in the coming year versus a net 42 per cent who were negative in May.

A net 29 per cent of firms are expecting their own activity to shrink versus 39 per cent in May. 

The final reading is due on today.

-Originally published by BusinessDesk.