Australia: Consumer sentiment ticks up in October
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose from 100.5 in September to 101.5 in October. Therefore, it moved further above the 100-point mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, where it has now been for 11 consecutive months.
October’s rise was mainly the result of consumers’ higher expectations of the economic outlook over the next 12 months and due to more positive expectations of family finances compared to a year ago. Moreover, consumers’ expectations of their family finances in the next 12 months also improved, although to a lesser extent. On the other hand, expectations of economic conditions in the next five years deteriorated slightly, while the “time to buy a major household item” sub-index remained virtually unchanged. Consumers were also more concerned about future unemployment and were less likely to buy a dwelling despite ongoing price corrections in the housing market, due to higher mortgage rates.