Australia: Consumer sentiment softens in January
January 22, 2014
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment fell to 103.3 points in January, which was down from the 105.0 points tallied in December. Despite January's drop, the indicator is still above the 100-point threshold that separates optimistic from pessimistic territory where it has hovered since June 2013.
The deterioration in consumer sentiment was seen across the board; all five components of the index fell in January. The Institute pointed out that, although an upward bias due to the "holiday effect" is usually noted in January, consumer sentiment actually declined this year. The drop was mainly driven by, "the release of the December jobs report which showed a shock loss of 22,600 jobs in the month," thus pushing forward-looking sub-indicators down.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 2.1% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. In 2015, panelists see private consumption expanding 2.7%.