Australia: Consumer confidence rebounds in August
August 12, 2015
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment rebounded from 92.2 in July to 99.5 in August. The reading was the highest in three months; however, the index is still below 100. The indicator has been well below the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory for 16 of the last 18 months.
The institute acknowledged that the result was somewhat surprising, as there were no major events that appeared likely to have triggered August’s jump. Last month’s fall was attributed to concerns over international events, such as the Greek debt crisis and the Chinese stock market collapse, and it is possible that these issues may have faded from the headlines over the last month, boosting consumer sentiment. Also, concerning real estate, the institute posited that, “ongoing positive news around house prices may also have buoyed confidence. Certainly there was a much larger lift in the confidence levels of those respondents who wholly own a property (up 6.2%) or who hold a mortgage (up 11.0%) than those who are out of the housing market (up 4.3%).”
Author: Robert Hill, Economist