A measure of Australian consumer sentiment improved modestly in July as worries about family finances eased, a survey showed on Wednesday, though the depressing impact of an unpopular federal budget continued to linger.
The survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank showed the index of consumer sentiment rose a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent in July, from June when it had inched up only 0.2 percent.
The index still has not fully recovered from May’s 6.8 percent dive which followed a budget of welfare reforms, cutbacks and increased charges for services. The index reading of 94.9 for July was down 7.1 percent on the same month last year and means pessimists still exceed optimists.
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