Australia Westpac Consumer Confidence Rises For First Time In 10 Months


Australia’s consumer sentiment improved for the first time in ten months in September, survey data from Westpac showed on Tuesday.

The consumer sentiment index rose by 3.9 percent to 84.4 from 81.2 in August. This was the first increase since November 2021. Nonetheless, the index suggested that pessimists still greatly outnumber optimists.

Four of the five sub-indexes recorded gains in September. The sub-index tracking assessments of ‘family finances vs a year ago’ was the only one to record a fall, down 4.8 percent to a 10-year low of 68.6.

That was offset by a better outlook for the ‘family finances, next 12 months’ sub-index, which climbed 4.7 percent to 92.3.

The ‘time to buy a major household item’ moved up 2.8 percent but still at a very weak level of 83.7 in September, the survey showed.

Consumer views on the economic outlook also improved. The ‘economy, next 12 months’ sub-index posted a particularly strong 12.5 percent surge and the ‘economy, next 5 years’ sub-index was up 4.2 percent to 94.5 in September.

Housing-related sentiment improved slightly in September. The ‘time to buy a dwelling’ index lifted 2.9 percent to 80.5. But the index was still down 39 percent from its peak in November 2020.

The index of house price expectations gained 3.6 percent to 100.6, nudging back into slight positive territory. Meanwhile, the unemployment expectations index dipped below 100 again in September, meaning consumers expect unemployment to fall rather than rise over the next 12 months.

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