Further evidence indicating a promising Christmas has been provided by Nielsen.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, which measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions, show consumer confidence has risen by eight points in the last quarter to 98.

“While it’s too soon to predict the long-term trend, we have enough signs to point to a positive Christmas period which will be great news for many retailers – and counter-intuitive to what most are saying in the market,” said Michael Walton, executive director, Nielsen Pacific. 

“The previous quarter [Q2] saw a lot of noise in the market around the impact on cost of goods, rising electricity prices and job losses as a result of the Carbon Tax.

 “However, these predicted negative impacts never materialised, and with the recent interest rate cuts, consumers appear to be feeling more positive about their prospects overall.

“Our conversations with retailers and manufacturers we consult to are now increasingly focusing on these green shoots of growth – and the variety of steps they can take to leverage this opportunity. This includes a tighter engagement with new products, and affordable trade up offerings underpinned by strong shopper insights.”

The analysis also shows increasing utility bills continue to concern consumers, with electricity, gas and heating prices being a major concern for 40 per cent of Australians. This is the 10th consecutive quarter where rising utility bills have been the biggest concern.

“Unlike other markets which rate political stability, welfare and employment far higher on the list of cost of living pressures, in Australia it’s the everyday cost of living pressures that occupy our minds,” Walton said.

“Electricity prices alone have risen by an average of 35 per cent across Australia during the past three years and almost half of all Aussies are opting to put spare cash after living expenses into savings, signalling they’re saving for a rainy day.”