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Confidence lifts despite political trouble

 

Consumers appear to be taking the political upheaval in Canberra in their stride and appear set to enter the Christmas shopping season in a positive mood.

As yet another senator bit the dust over federal parliament's seemingly never-ending citizenship debacle, new figures show consumer confidence jumped two per cent in the past week.

The rise took the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index to its highest level in seven weeks.

"The improvement in views towards economic conditions despite the current political uncertainty is quite encouraging," ANZ head of Australian economics David Plank said.

He expects other data this week will show an uptick in wage growth and another positive employment report, and this should give confidence further support, "even as the political uncertainty rises".

Independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie announced on Tuesday she will quit parliament after confirming she is a dual citizen.

Six senators and two MPs have now been caught out over their citizenship status which has undermined support for the Turnbull government.

As such, the government will be hoping for positive results from Wednesday's September quarter wage data and Thursday's labour force report for October.

A separate Australian Retailers Association-Roy Morgan analysis predicts Australians will spend more than $50 million in retail stores during the Christmas trading period from November 15 to December 24.

That would be 2.8 per cent higher than 2016.

The association's executive director Russell Zimmerman says while the latest retail trade figures have shown a considerable decline, this forecast suggests Christmas sales will be a little bit better, albeit well below the four to five per cent retailers would like to see.

"As online retailing continues to grow, we predict online gift purchases to increase by 3.96 per cent and expect Australian shoppers to purchase most of their gifts online this year," he said.