Australia: Consumer confidence picks up after four consecutive drops
September 14, 2011
In September, the index of consumer sentiment, published by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute, jumped to 96.9 points, which was up from the 89.6 points recorded in August and marked a recovery in the index after four consecutive drops. Despite the improvement, the index idled below the long-term average of 100 points for a third consecutive month. According to Westpac and the Melbourne Institute, the result came as a surprise and was largely driven by the Central Bank's dovish stance towards future interest rate increases. In addition, consumer sentiment was boosted by the release of the Q2 GDP results, which point to a recovery of the Australian economy. All sub-components of the index improved in September. The component that rose most notably was the one related to the economic situation in the next 12 months. That said, households' expectations regarding their future personal financial situation also improved strongly. Accordingly, households' willingness to purchase durable goods rose by 3.2% over the previous month's survey.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions