Job confidence among New Zealanders has slumped in the last six months, a survey by the Neilsen Company said.

About 71% of consumers reported that local job prospects for the next 12 months does not look good compared to only 38% who said so six months ago.

According to the Neilsen global survey conducted between 19 March and 2 April 2009, consumer confidence levels have also dropped to new lows in recent months, with the latest confidence index declining nine points to 90.

The second main concern for New Zealanders is the economy, followed by debt. Food prices are of lesser concern than they were six months ago.

The survey pointed out consumers were not so worried about their personal finances, with 52% thinking their finances to be good or excellent over the next 12 months compared to only 41% of global consumers.

About 42% of New Zealanders thought it was a good time to buy goods compared to 33% of consumers globally. This was reflected by the aggressive discounting and promotional activity being undertaken by retailers, coupled with the Government's recent tax reductions, Susanna Baggaley, Executive Director, Consumer Research, The Nielsen Company said. At the same time, consumers were more reluctant to buy technology products, with only 14% expecting to buy such goods compared to 22% globally.

Further, with falling interest rates, consumers were less concerned of paying off their debt and more interested in savings.

Consumers were also not very interested in the share market, with only 5% expecting to invest in the shares, which is 13 points lower than global levels.

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