Consumer confidence plummets to an all-time low.

As all of Aotearoa navigate through the traffic light system and businesses hustle to make a comeback post the pandemic, the March edition of the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index (released on 1st April 2022) makes for a sobering read.

The results of the March survey have recorded consumer confidence plunged a further 4 points from the February low of 81.7 to the new 77.9, a fresh record low in data that began in 2004.

Omicron has continued to place pressure on the market and households are feeling it with rising living costs, heightened inflation concerns, rising interest rates, supply chain issues and a retreating housing market. While these factors are not new, the rippling effects of Omicron might be the final straw for some retailers and consumers.

“Indebted consumers may not like higher interest rates but all consumers hate inflation, the “thief in the night” that eats away at purchasing power and makes households feel that they are going backwards” (ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence)

Let’s take a look at some inflation data released by Statistics NZ in the March 2022 food price index on 13 April 2022.

Food prices increased 7.6 per cent in the year ended March 2022 and were one of the largest contributors to the 1.8 per cent rise in the CPI in the March 2022 quarter.

In March 2022 compared with March 2021:

  • fruit and vegetable prices increased by 18 percent
  • meat, poultry, and fish prices increased by 8.7 percent
  • grocery food prices increased by 6.7 percent
  • non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by 2.7 percent
  • restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 5.1 percent.

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