REFILE-NZ consumer confidence eases in September - ANZ survey
(Refiling to fix dateline, widens distribution)
WELLINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - New Zealand consumer confidence drifted off a three-year high in September, but remained solidly positive pointing to reasonable domestic economic momentum, a survey showed on Friday.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index eased to 118.8 from 123 in August. It was the index's lowest reading since March. A reading above 100 shows optimism, while below indicates pessimism.
The bank said the softening in sentiment was not all that worrying.
"It's consistent with a more moderate - and more sustainable - pace of consumer spending," chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in a commentary.
He said higher interest rates and a move by the central bank to limit low-deposit mortgage lending were possible factors in sentiment easing.
The survey showed consumers felt worse off financially compared with a year ago, and were less optimistic about the economic outlook in the next 12 months, and also over the next five years.
The number thinking it was a good time to buy a major household item dipped to 36 percent from 41 percent the previous month.
The ANZ's composite growth indicator, which combines its business and consumer sentiment surveys, suggested growth of about 3.8 percent by the end of the year. (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Paul Tait)