New Zealand has returned to pre-pandemic levels of consumer sentiment, while Australia lags behind, according to our latest numbers.

Credit enquiries are an important indicator of economic recovery and consumer confidence.

When levels of enquiries pick up – whether that’s nabbing a new mobile phone contract, applying for a mortgage, or entering a new internet contract – it means consumers are confident about the economy and are taking a long-term mindset.

Kiwis more optimistic on domestic economy

And according to our database, one of the most comprehensive in Australasia, Kiwis are significantly more optimistic about the economy than those across the Tasman.

Up to 27 June 2020, New Zealanders’ applications for lines of credit returned to 93 per cent, against a late-January benchmark. By comparison, Australians were at only 77 per cent.

U-shaped recovery

New Zealand is pointing towards a U-shaped economic recovery.

When the country entered its lockdown to level-4 restrictions on 25 March 2020, credit applications fell dramatically.

New Zealand shut down by half, to 47% of pre-COVID levels. The brakes were hit and credit volumes reached rock-bottom around 11 April.

While the pandemic has meant different things to each of us, it seems Baby Boomers (people over 56) are more quickly adopting an optimistic mindset; especially compared to Generation Z (aged under 25).

Our data shows Kiwi mums and dads are embracing online shopping, perhaps to find a better deal.

Telco enquiries for this group which includes many online products, were up 130 per cent on pre-COVID enquiries.

However, their older children have lagged significantly behind everyone else in terms of the number of post-COVID credit enquiries they have made. That could be down to where job losses have hit hardest - with young adults.

Although New Zealand's consumer sentiment was hit much harder and faster than in Australia, it's a different story now.

Many Australians are green with envy when they look at New Zealand's speedier economic recovery.

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As the leading independent provider of trusted data and analytics products and services in Australasia, illion is your perfect partner in these uncertain times. We leverage consumer and commercial credit registries, which comprise data on over 24 million individuals and over 2 million commercial entities, to provide end-to-end customer management solutions to clients in the financial services, telecommunications, utilities and government sectors.