Australia: Consumer sentiment approaches pre-crisis levels in June
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index jumped to 93.7 in June from 88.1 in May, consequently recovering further ground from the index’s worst reading since February 1991 recorded last April. The robust increase was again fueled by the government’s success in bringing the coronavirus under control. That said, sentiment remained below the 100-mark, indicating that there were more pessimists than optimists among Australian consumers.
June’s improvement was broad-based, although the largest increases were again recorded for the near-term outlook for the economy and spending decisions. Consumers’ outlook over the general economic situation in the year ahead jumped, but remained entrenched in pessimistic terrain. Meanwhile, households’ expectations over the general economic situation in the next five years also gained ground, although the gain was somewhat less pronounced. Moreover, households’ willingness to make major purchases grew markedly, moving into positive terrain. Furthermore, consumers’ confidence regarding their future financial situation strengthened somewhat in June, while employment expectations improved considerably. Nevertheless, consumers’ assessments of “time to buy” a dwelling dipped likely as house prices expectations increased markedly.
FocusEconomics panelists are still assessing the latest developments.