Australia: Consumer sentiment jumps in November
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose from 101.5 in October to 104.3 in November. Therefore, it moved further above the 100-point mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, where it has now been for 12 consecutive months.
November’s rise was the result of consumers’ improved outlook on their own finances and of the general economy. Partly due to very low interest rates and despite October’s significant fall in the equity market, consumers had far more positive assessments of family finances compared to a year ago—the highest level in over two years—and they also had higher expectations of their family finances in the next 12 months. Moreover, expectations of economic conditions in the next five years surged, and the general economic outlook on the next 12 months also improved, but to a much lesser extent. On the other hand, despite an improvement in labor market expectations, the “time to buy a major household item” sub-index moderated That said, consumers were more likely to buy a dwelling and expected further house price corrections.