(Australian Associated Press)
Consumer confidence has reached its highest level in nearly two years, helped by a surge in optimism about the economy.
The ANZ/Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence index rose 1.2 per cent in the first week of November, driven by a rise in the number of people feeling more confident about the economic outlook.
ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan said the rise in confidence reflected support for Malcolm Turnbull, who became prime minister eight weeks ago.
But while people are feeling more positive about the economy, confidence about personal finances is flat.
Mr Hogan said the surge in consumer confidence may hold the key to giving the non-mining parts of the economy a lift.
“The uptrend in confidence following the change in Australia’s political leadership is clear for all to see,” he said.
“An important question is whether this lift in confidence can be sustained and translate into stronger consumer spending.”
However Mr Hogan said a softening housing market, weak wages growth, and unemployment staying above six per cent will be obstacles to a sustained rise in consumer optimism in the coming months.
He added that this makes the government’s economic policy platform even more important over the next six to 12 months.”