Australia: Consumer sentiment posts strong gain
March 13, 2013
In March, the index of consumer sentiment published by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute soared to 110.5 points, which was up from the 108.3 points recorded in February and marked the strongest result since December 2010. In addition, the figure marks the fifth consecutive month in which the index has been at or above the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory.
The improvement was broad-based, as four out of the five components of the index fared better compared to February. In particular, households' expectations for the general economy in the long run (5 years) recorded the strongest increase. In contrast, the sub-index related to the intentions to purchase major household items fell 1.6% over the previous month.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see private consumption growing 2.5% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. Panellists see private consumption expanding 3.0% in 2014.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions