Australians are feeling good about the new year according to this week’s Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating. Confidence jumped 9.4 points to reach its highest peak in eight months.

But although it hasn’t been higher since May 2011, the confidence rating is still 5.3 points lower than the same time last year.

The Christmas period doesn’t appear to have impacted on perceptions of the financial situation with an increase in the number of Australians saying they are better off since December.

According to executive chairman of Roy Morgan Research, Gary Morgan, the jump is the biggest jump to start a new year since January 2003: “The rising Australian Dollar (now at US$1.03, up from US$0.99 in mid December) and the accompanying rise in confidence have both helped to give retailers a better start to 2012 than many had forecast,” Morgan says.

Retail figures for December are not due out until February 6, but anecdotal evidence from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) suggests vendors were on track to meet their budgets after a steady post-Christmas sales period.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman says, “Shoppers are pacing themselves and thinking about their buying strategy so they can take advantage of bargains throughout the entire sales period.”

No increase in sales was recorded by the ABS in November despite an interest rate cut.


Roy Morgan’s Consumer Confidence Rating was conducted over the weekend of January 7 and 8, 2012.