By Claire Reilly

October’s monthly consumer confidence rating is out and there is good news for retailers, with the index showing strong growth to reach its highest point since February 2012. The rating, which is produced by Roy Morgan Research, is also close to climbing back to pre-GFC heights.

The rating is at 116.6 points, which is 4.8 points higher than the same period last year. According to executive chairman of Roy Morgan Research, Gary Morgan, it has increased “for the second straight week after the major banks followed the lead of the RBA and cut interest rates on home loans.

“In particular Australians are more confident about the next 12 months with 33 per cent (up 4 per cent) now expecting ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months and 40 per cent (up 2 per cent) expecting to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year,” he said.

Before the GFC struck the economy in earnest in 2008, the consumer confidence rating was at 118.6 points (January 2008), and it is now close to regaining these heights.

This growth has been “driven by Australians’ having more confidence about Australia’s economic conditions over both the short and longer terms.

“Now a larger majority of Australians (58 per cent, up 2 per cent) say it is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items but 18 per cent (up 2 per cent) of Australians say now is a ‘bad time to buy’ major household items.”

The growth in the number of consumers feeling good about the economy and their financial situation is positive for retailers as they gear up for one of the busiest buying periods of the year, which will see a range of new products launched such as new refrigerators and ultra-definition and OLED TVs.
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