Australian consumer confidence has reached its highest level since February, thanks to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to keep interest rates steady ahead of the Christmas shopping season. According to a survey conducted by the ANZ Bank and pollster Roy Morgan, consumer confidence has increased by 4.4 points over the week.

Homeowners, in particular, are feeling optimistic due to rising home prices and the stability of the cash rate after the RBA’s recent decision. “The RBA’s hold on the cash rate has had a positive impact on homeowners,” says ANZ senior economist Adelaide Timbrell.

While the central bank has chosen to remain on the sidelines this month with the official cash rate at 4.35%, it has not ruled out the possibility of further increases in the new year if inflation persists.

The latest data also reveals that consumer inflation expectations are at their second-lowest levels in six months, while economic confidence for the coming year is at its second-highest level since February.

Despite seasonal discounts, a significant number of households still consider it a bad time to make household purchases.

Other notable findings from the survey include a 0.6 percentage point decrease in weekly inflation expectations to 5%, as well as positive gains in all confidence subindices.

Sentiment around current financial conditions has seen a considerable increase of 9 points over the week, with future financial conditions also showing growth of 3.0 points.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence Rating is based on 1,500 interviews conducted online and over the phone throughout the week until Sunday.

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