Australia: Consumer confidence falls in March
March 9, 2016
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment decreased 2.2% in March. The index fell from 101.3 in February to 99.1 in March, indicating that pessimists now marginally outnumber optimists.
The Institute attributed the decrease to conditions shifting sentiment in Australia’s housing market. The survey indicated that consumers have shifted their perceptions of property markets, stating that “there was a sharp deterioration in respondents’ views on real estate as a wise investment.” Australia’s housing market had shown strong gains in the past year, and dwellings had become a strong source of income and a profitable place to store savings. Change in sentiment regarding housing is likely due to heightened market volatility and unfavorable media coverage concerning property markets.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist