Low-rate credit cards do little to boost Australian consumer confidence

Low-rate credit cards have not been able to stymie the decline in consumer confidence across Australia.

According to new statistics from Nielsen, Aussie shoppers are in the doldrums, with consumer confidence falling seven points in the second quarter of 2011 – meaning that while the economic outlook of the average Australian is optimistic at the moment, it could soon enter negative territory.

Of those surveyed by Nielsen, 17 per cent said they have no cash to spare at the end of each month and that the majority of households were determined to slash their expenditure on all household items.

Chris Percy, Pacific managing director at Nielsen Consumer Group, said: "We haven't seen this level of commitment to reducing household expenditure since [the survey] began in late 2008."

He added that many Australians were hoping to continue limiting their low-rate credit card spending when the economic outlook improves.

This week, IBISWorld said that low interest rates were helping to keep consumer confidence in positive territory.

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