Australia: Consumer sentiment moves further into optimistic territory in May
May 16, 2019
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose to 101.3 in May from 100.7 in April. Therefore, it moved further above the 100-point mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, as the measures contained in the newly released 2019 Federal Budget were well received by households.
May’s uptick mainly reflects a surge in consumers’ assessments of their family finance compared to a year ago, as well as easing concerns regarding future job losses. Consumers’ general economic outlook for the next 12 months also improved, while expectations of their finances in the next 12 months and their views of economic condition in the next five years deteriorated. Housing indicators showed that buyer sentiment soured, while house prices expectations fell strongly—signaling consumers are expecting a continuation of the price correction. Lastly, consumers were slightly more willing to buy a major household item.