Australia: Consumer sentiment picks up in August
August 14, 2013
The consumer confidence index published by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute rose to 105.7 points in August (July: 102.1), reaching its highest level since March 2013. This is the third month in which the index is above the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory.
The improvement stemmed from households' more optimistic assessment regarding the current and future condition of their personal finances. In addition, respondents to the survey are now more optimistic about the general economic situation over the next five years. That said, consumers' intentions to purchase major household items fell 5.5% over the previous month, likely reflecting the impact of the weaker Australian dollar on the affordability of imported goods.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see private consumption growing 2.4% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. Panellists see private consumption expanding 3.1% in 2014.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions