Australia: Consumer sentiment falls in July
July 13, 2016
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment fell 3.0% in July as the index dipped from June’s 102.2 in June to 99.1. The fall drove the index below the 100 mark and the number of pessimists outnumbers optimists for the first time since April.
The institute noted that the UK’s Brexit vote and uncertainty surrounding Australia’s July election as factors behind July’s sentiment reading. The institute went on to state that the 3.0% decrease observed in July was in fact modest given the substantial factors weighing on consumer sentiment. Over the survey period–from 4 to 7 July–most of the immediate Brexit fears had settled. However, political uncertainty surrounding the elections persisted during the survey period. The Institute elaborated that, “to see the Index fall by only 3%, back to its level of March 2016 and still 4.2% above its April level is encouraging. Since the end of the survey period we have seen some welcome political certainty with the prospect of a hung Parliament avoided. It is reasonable to speculate that had the survey been conducted over the last few days the results would have been more positive.”
Author: Robert Hill, Economist