Australian Consumer Sentiment Rises

A measure of Australian consumer sentiment rose in October, steadying from a sharp fall in the previous month as households signaled they were more confident about the longer term economic outlook.  The survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank (WBC.AX) showed the index of consumer sentiment rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in October, from September when it dropped 4.6 percent.

“Households, who reacted negatively to the Commonwealth Government’s May Budget, may have been encouraged by recent announcements that a number of budget initiatives have been set aside for the time being,” said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.  The index reading of 94.8 in October was down 12.5 percent on the same month last year, with pessimists exceeding optimists for eight months in a row.

The index for economic conditions over the next 12 months fell 5.2 percent, but that for conditions over the next five years climbed 5.5 percent.  The measure of family finances compared to a year ago rose 4.4 percent, and that on the outlook for the next 12 months climbed 1.2 percent.


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