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Why I love polls

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, June 19th, 2011 - 11 comments
Categories: polls - Tags:

Stuff, 17 June:

Consumer confidence ‘back to normal’

… Nationally, consumer confidence is bouncing back strongly, after being badly dented by the Canterbury earthquake in February, according to a bank survey. … In the June quarter, the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index jumped 14.1 points from 97.9 to 112. A figure above 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists.

The survey was done in the first fortnight of June and included respondents in Christchurch, who were not included in the March-quarter survey.

The survey suggests a modest increase in spending from a very soft base, and that confidence overall remains weaker than in mid-2010, before the economy slowed and the September Canterbury earthquake hit.

Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said yesterday: “After being badly dented by February’s earthquake, New Zealand household confidence has rebounded to more normal levels.

“About as many people now expect good and bad economic times in the year ahead as they did last December. And people’s perceptions of their own financial conditions have continued to improve.”

Stuff, 19 June:

Financial woes keep growing

People’s confidence in their financial prospects has plummeted just five months out from the general election, with a new poll showing people are worried they will lose their jobs and that things will get worse in the next year.

The Research New Zealand poll is bad news for the government because despite recent surveys showing high levels of business confidence, it appears many New Zealanders do not feel the same way about their own prospects.

Political scientist Bryce Edwards said the results could mean a return to a focus on the economy in the run-up to the election, and a more traditional emphasis on left-right campaigning.

The poll of 503 people aged 18 and over found that the number of people who felt their financial situation had improved in the past year had dropped to just 14%, down from 27% last year. Just under half said their situation had worsened.

Only 23% of people thought their finances would improve in the next 12 months, down from 56% last year.

Workers were worried about their jobs. Last year 76% of respondents felt confident their jobs were secure – this year that had dropped to 65%, described by the researchers as significant.

“What seemed to be an improving trend in 2009 and 2010 has dropped sharply in 2011,” said Research NZ director Emanuel Kalafatelis.

Make of that what you will.

11 comments on “Why I love polls”

  1. Zetetic 1

    problem with confidence polls is they ask what business thinks things are going to be like in 12 months vs now.

    First – people can’t see the big things that drive economies (peak oil)

    Second – confidence will always skyrocket a bit after a big disaster. when you’re at the bottom, the only way is up. It’s like asking someone in July whether they think the coming months will be warmer. Of course they will be. But that doesn’t tell you anything about how warm they will be relative to last summer.

    • infused 1.1

      That’s a great generalization. I’ve been following the BNZ surveys for the last year, generally they have been spot on.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    The bank is’ talking up its book’

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Retail sales rebound strongly


    But you have to read into the article to find out that petrol price increases and a bump in new car sales was responsible for most of the rise. And it doesn’t really say in this article, but part of the bump came from retailers having to slash prices in sales to bring in customers (not really a sign of confidence there).

    And then right at the end the article, for those who make it there, it finally says this:

    Gordon said while the renewed retail sales growth was encouraging, the severely depressed level of sales means there is still little joy for retailers.

    “Sales volumes are still a whopping 8.5 per cent below their early 2007 high, and are only 1.7 per cent above their trough two years ago,” he said.

  4. ianmac 4

    “Well what would Labour do to raise confidence and restore employment?” they may well ask. I am confident that over the next few weeks Labour will publish their intentions and become a viable alternative.

    • Deadly_NZ 4.1

      They had better because at the moment the ‘Great Silence’ is getting all together too much to stand. And if I am to going to give my vote to Labour, I would like to know it is not going to be wasted. And a vote for the Greens could be a better way to go.

      • ZeeBop 4.1.1

        Double your effect, vote Labour in the constituency and Green on the List. If enough Labour voters do then there is a threshold when Labour don’t get extra seats (aka Maori seats) and Greens take off expanding the number of left wing MPs in parliament. This has been recognized by the Nationals, who realize they need a list party or no MMP. So enter the migrant party, and the refurnishing of the ACT Party. But too late if Labour voters on mass split their vote.

        After the war the UK threw out Churchill. Its does not follow when NZ wins that there will be a boost for National and Key, if people want change so much Key will actually be seen as the run up to the Rugby and all its past fears and anguish.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Confidence as surveyed is all about ‘me’, did I mention ‘me’? These are business tools used for all manner of buggery bollocks to suggest just about anything to anyone as though they should be taken seriously.

  6. ZeeBop 6

    I was reading about Hayek, he did not say government was evil, just banks. And he also it could be concluded he was arguing for free healthcare for all not private healthcare and drug regimes. Just look at America to see the high cost of both, because of fracturing of the demand into smaller corporate fiefdoms who then raise price rapaciously.

    Free healthcare means prevention becomes the standard, which means less drug use as complications create more drugs use.

    The governments role is to minimise intervention, and regulate a fair playing field. User pays when most citizens don’t access the service, e.g. local pilot weather reports, and free access so bottlenecks do not create greater costs (Maori health).

    So funnily enough Hayek says this will happen, that after a massive artificial intervention in the markets by government letting banks print money, then government must respond by spending less, and with drawing from interventionist practices. Like in health care, like in welfare (stopping less than 15hrs of work because of high compliance costs).

    So sorry, but the dream is over, the dream lifestyle of neo-liberals who thought they were both right and successful, on both measures they have failed dismally, their own ‘hero’ Hayek says so. They games the system, as Marx predicted and Hayek modelled, and now they are reaping the contraction of all the lobbiest inspired legislative interventionism and protection.

    That’s what happens Hayek said it, governments who try to save their mates will hurt the economy more, and people are hurting more because of Key, protecting his money mates.
    Asset sales, handing over yet more easy profit to the market is a form of intervention to pick winners.

    We quantize currency for a reason, so the units of value can flow more efficiently, so why does Key believe that only the top of town can control and produce a free market when they horde the shares. That’s not a free market, that’s government intervention, atleast in the government ownership everyone has the same ownership rights! A level playing field!

  7. I love the way, that people say polls dont mean anything, when there guy is down, but they mean a lot when there guy is up.

    • I agree, it is all about how the poll reflects on you…

      Personaly I belive that people shouldnt be quick to dismiss the opinion of the public.

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