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Australian Consumer Confidence Slips Last Week

By James Glynn


SYDNEY--Australian consumer confidence was slightly weaker last week, while there was a rise in inflation expectations in line with increased fuel prices.

Consumer confidence fell 0.3 point to 82.8, according to a survey by ANZ Bank and pollster Roy Morgan.

Weekly inflation expectations rose 0.1 percentage point to a six-week high of 5.2%, while the four-week moving average was also up 0.1 percentage point to 5.0%.

ANZ Senior Economist Catherine Birch said confidence has remained within the 80 to 85 range for 15 consecutive weeks.

Inflation expectations rose going into the Easter long weekend, likely reflecting higher gasoline prices, Birch said. But households may have also felt more keenly the current bout of high chocolate inflation, driven by surging global cocoa prices, she said.

Confidence among those paying off their homes rose 1.2 points to 80 points, which may have reflected a decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep interest rates on hold earlier in the month.

Most economists said the RBA had adopted a more neutral policy stance, stepping away from signals that it could raise interest rates further if inflation proved sticky.

That less hawkish stance was evident in minutes of the RBA's recent policy meeting, published on Tuesday.

Confidence was largely steady at 81.7 points for renters and fell 2.1 points to 86.0 points for outright homeowners, according to the data.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan survey is based on 1,554 interviews conducted online and over the telephone during the week to Sunday.


Write to James Glynn at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 02, 2024 18:56 ET (22:56 GMT)

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