Australia: Consumer sentiment rebounds from negative territory in August
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rebounded from a 23-month low of 96.5 in July to 100.0 in June. Therefore, it moved to the 100-point mark indicating that there were as many optimists as pessimists among Australian consumers.
There was an across-the-board improvement in August. Consumers’ expectations over the general economic situation in the year ahead as well as in the next five years improved considerably in August, although stayed slightly pessimistic. Furthermore, consumers’ sentiment regarding their current and future financial situation improved mildly in the same month, reflected in greater willingness to buy a major household item. Lastly, the perception of the housing market continued posting strong improvements in August: The willingness to buy a dwelling rose markedly amid a jump in the house price expectations index. That said, a downtick in unemployment expectations index suggested that Australian consumers continued expecting the unemployment rate to rise going ahead.