Australia: Consumer sentiment falls further in August on Victoria’s lockdown
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index fell from 87.9 in July to 79.5 in August. The drop in sentiment came on the back of new lockdown measures adopted in Victoria following new outbreaks of the coronavirus, sparking fear across the country. Consequently, sentiment moved further below the 100-mark, indicating that there were more pessimists than optimists among Australian consumers.
August’s deterioration was broad-based, with views on the economy in the year ahead and in the coming five years turning more pessimistic. Moreover, households’ attitudes regarding their finances in the past 12 months and the year ahead also deteriorated. Consequently, willingness to buy large ticket items turned negative; this is also in part due to a further deterioration in the outlook on the labor market. Meanwhile, consumers’ willingness to buy a dwelling dwindled in August while their expectations for house prices fell sharply.
FocusEconomics panelists are still assessing the latest developments.