Consumer confidence has taken its biggest hit since the global financial crisis, with new survey results showing it has fallen to its lowest level since May 2009 in the aftermath of the budget.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence report shows confidence fell 15% over the past five weeks, a period which saw heavy media attention on the government’s ‘tough’ budget.
Confidence has now dipped below the ‘neutral line’ for the first time since the GFC.
While the consumer spending outlook is still expected to improve this year, ANZ said the confidence impacts from the budget may affect the speed of that recovery.
Head of corporate and commercial economics for ANZ, Justin Fabo, said in a statement: “While the policies from the budget are likely to be a modest drag on consumer spending over the next few years, the hit to confidence, if sustained, could prove to be more important.”
Another 450 jobs go at Qantas
Qantas has scrapped another round of jobs, with about 450 staff let go as it closes call centres in Brisbane and Melbourne.
The airline carrier announced today it would consolidate its three call centres into one facility based in Hobart by 2016, as a part of it $2 billion transformation program and associated reduction of 5000 jobs.
In a statement, Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said operating three call centres in different states was simply not efficient, particularly as customers increasingly turn to online, mobile and social media.
Employees in the Brisbane and Melbourne call centres will be offered re-deployment to Hobart.
Shares up on open
Aussie stocks have followed Wall Street’s positive lead this morning.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 15.8 points to 5527.5 at 12.17pm AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 69.23 points higher, up by 0.42% to 1675.5 points.