Australia: Consumer sentiment recovers some steam but remains downbeat in November
November 13, 2019
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose to 97.0 in November, from 92.8 in October, which had marked the worst result since July 2015. Rising expectations of a U.S.–China trade agreement coupled with a healthy increase in the stock exchange in the last month likely supported consumers’ less negative views. That said, sentiment remained below the 100-mark indicating that there were more pessimists than optimists among Australian consumers.
November’s improvement was broad-based. Consumers’ outlook over the general economic situation in the next five years strengthened considerably in the surveyed month, although it remained in 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 gained ground in November, against the backdrop a higher willingness to buy a major household item. Additionally, consumers were also more inclined to buy a dwelling, in tandem with the signs of a recovering housing market. That said, unemployment expectations deteriorated, consistent with cooling job growth.