Australia: Consumer sentiment improves slightly in June
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 102.1 in June from 101.8 in May. Therefore, the index moved further above the crucial 100 mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, where it has now been for six consecutive months.
June’s rise was mainly the result of improved views on family finances more than offsetting less optimistic perceptions of economic conditions. Consumers had both better assessments of their own finances compared to one year ago and more positive expectations on family finances in the next 12 months—probably as households took into account the positive measures contained in the budget released in May. On the other hand, consumers had less upbeat expectations on economic conditions over the next five years as well as deteriorating assessments of the general economic outlook over the next twelve months. Since recently-released data on GDP growth in Q1 strongly beat market expectations, this was likely the result of mounting global trade tensions. Moreover, consumers were more concerned about unemployment but also became more willing to purchase major household items as well as dwelling, as the ongoing price correction in the housing market is making dwellings more affordable.