NZ consumer confidence on a high
5:00AM Wednesday June 13, 2007

New Zealand consumer confidence improved slightly in the first half of the year, despite rising interest rates, with Kiwi shoppers still near the top of Nielsen's global online survey.

New Zealand improved one place to fourth from the previous survey in late 2006, despite a one-point fall to 120 on the consumer confidence index.

However, sentiment could decline as consumers focus on ridding themselves of debt, said Nielsen New Zealand managing director Steve Mitchell.

Nearly half of the 500 New Zealand participants said they were allocating spare cash to pay off debts, credit cards and loans, up a point from the last survey in December.

Other financial priorities included saving, holidays, and home improvement and decorating.

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