Australia: Consumer confidence falls in April
March 15, 2015
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment fell from 99.5 points in March to 96.2 points in April. The indicator has now moved further below the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory.
April’s reading mainly reflected a decrease in consumer confidence ahead of the release of Australia’s budget period next month. As the institute pointed out, “with the Index entering the Budget period well below the key 100 level and with downward momentum we must recognise that confidence is again looking vulnerable heading into the Budget announcement next month.” Other factors contributing to the fall in the index included a hike in fuel prices, the fact that the Central Bank did not cut rates in March and high-profile coverage of the sharp fall in iron ore prices, Australia’s premier export commodity. All sub-indices saw a decrease in confidence apart from the “time to buy a major household item” index, which increased 5.9%.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist