Australia: Consumer sentiment virtually unchanged in December
December 12, 2018
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index inched up from 104.3 in November to 104.4 in December. Therefore, it moved further above the 100-point mark that separates optimism from pessimism among consumers, where it has now been for a full year.
December’s uptick was the result of a robust rise in consumers’ propensity to purchase major household items more than offsetting a deterioration in views of personal finances and long-term economic prospects. Respondents’ propensity to purchase major household items climbed markedly, thanks to falling oil prices and ongoing albeit softening momentum in the labor market, driving the overall reading. That said, consumers held a less positive assessment on personal finances compared to a year ago, and they also had lower expectations of their households’ finances in the next 12 months. Moreover, expectations of economic conditions in the next five years deteriorated, although the general economic outlook on the next 12 months improved marginally. Lastly, consumers were less likely to buy a dwelling and expected further house price corrections.
Australia Private Consumption Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 2.5% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 2.5% again in 2020.