By Eleanore D. Sanchez

Market selloffs have spooked Australians, and as a result, households are not as confident about their economic prospects over the short and mid-term, according to the ANZ Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence Report.

Still, the report noted that consumer confidence remains “high by historical standards.”

Consumer perception about their current and future finances declined by almost 2%, the report said, while householders are putting off major purchases.

 Householders are also fretful of their financial future, as confidence for the 12-month economic term declined 1.1%, and the five-year economic outlook receded by 1.4%.

“Consumer confidence dipped 2.2 per cent last week, although it remains high by historical standards," ANZ head of Australian economics Felicity Emmett said.

"Last week’s sell-off in financial markets — which saw the ASX index suffer heavy losses early in the week — was likely the main driver of the decline in confidence,” she said. “Equity markets have now rebounded from last week’s lows. As such, we think consumers will likely turn their focus back to domestic fundamentals.”

Still, Emmett added that the strength in the housing market, low interest rates, and a recovering labor market could help rebuild confidence over the near term.

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