Australia: Consumer sentiment at seven-month high in September
September 12, 2020
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index jumped from 79.5 in August to 93.8 in September, marking the highest reading since February. However, sentiment remained below the 100-mark, indicating that there were more pessimists than optimists among Australian consumers.
September’s improvement was broad-based, with views on the economy in the year ahead soaring and the outlook on the economy in the coming five years turning considerably less pessimistic. Moreover, households’ attitudes regarding their finances in the past 12 months and the year ahead also improved markedly. Consequently, willingness to buy large ticket items turned positive; this is also in part due to better expectations over the labor market. Meanwhile, consumers’ willingness to buy a dwelling strengthened in September, albeit at a more moderate pace, while their expectations for house prices rose sharply.
FocusEconomics panelists are still assessing the latest developments.