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Consumer confidence slides on cost concerns

Consumer confidence has fallen following a jump in petrol prices in Melbourne and Brisbane, and talk of rail strikes in Sydney – all against a backdrop of low wages growth.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index shows a 3.3 per cent drop to 119.4 points, in the week to January 23, following three consecutive weeks of gains.

ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said leading the fall was people’s lack of confidence in their current personal finances.

The survey, based on around 1,000 face-to-face interviews, also found people lacked confidence in the country’s current and future economic conditions.

Mr Plank said the fall in confidence coincided with a jump in petrol prices across Melbourne and Brisbane, ongoing weak wage growth and talk of electricity blackouts, and a proposed rail strike in Sydney.

“It is also possible that the New Year return to work was a factor for some,” Mr Plank added.

“Looking past the weekly volatility, we expect sentiment to remain supported by a strong labour market and a solid outlook for economic activity in 2018.”

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