Australia: Consumer sentiment more pessimistic in December
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index dropped to 95.1 in December, from 97.0 in November. Therefore, sentiment moved further below the 100-mark separating optimism from pessimism among Australian consumers.
December’s setback was broad-based. Consumers’ outlook over the general economic situation in the next five years lost considerable ground in the surveyed month, falling further into pessimistic terrain, as did consumers’ expectations over the general economic situation in the year ahead. Moreover, consumers’ confidence regarding their current and future financial situation weakened in December, against the backdrop of a reduced willingness to buy major household items. Additionally, consumers were also less inclined to purchase a dwelling, following signs of recovering house prices. Lastly, unemployment expectations deteriorated, consistent with cooling job growth.