Australia: Consumer sentiment dips in February but remains in optimistic territory
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased from 105.1 in January to 102.7 in February. January’s print had marked the highest level in consumer confidence since November 2013. Despite the drop, the index remained above the crucial 100 mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers.
In early February, global share markets were particularly volatile, including in Australia. This likely had a negative impact on consumer sentiment for the month, as consumers reported becoming more pessimistic about their current and future financial conditions compared to January. Consumers also reported decreased confidence about current and future economic conditions. However, their willingness to purchase major household items increased in February.