Australia: Consumer confidence in February recovers from January's fall
February 10, 2016
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment picked up in February, recovering from its 3.5% decrease in January. The index rose from 97.3 in January to 101.3 in February, as Australia’s equities markets stabilized after undergoing some turbulence in the beginning of the year.
The Institute attributed the increase in confidence to a sense of relief consumers felt regarding equities and oil prices. The institute noted that, “while the plunge in the oil price is disturbing from a market perspective, households are now benefitting from lower petrol prices. Since the survey in January ’average pump price‘ has fallen by 8.5% providing households with a decent boost to disposable incomes.” The institute elaborated that since the February consumer confidence survey closed on 6 February, the Australian equities market has weakened further, possibly foreshadowing a deterioration of the index in the coming months.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist