Australia: Consumer Sentiment Index back below 100 – Westpac

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment declined 1.7% to 99.7 in November from 101.4 in October, notes Bill Evans, Research Analyst at Westpac.

Key Quotes

“Last month’s return to slight optimism has proven to be short-lived. While the Index is still up 4.4% from its August low, the November decline takes it back below 100, indicating pessimists again outnumber optimists. In fact last month was the only month over the last year when optimists have been in the ascendency.”

“Constant media coverage around the prospect of rising interest rates may be unnerving households. The confidence of respondents who hold a mortgage fell by 4.5% compared to a more modest fall of 1.4% for those owners who are mortgage free and a 0.5% increase for tenants.”

“Overall, the consumer mood has been downbeat in 2017 with clear pressures on family finances and an uncertain economic outlook weighing on sentiment.”

“Economic uncertainty again featured in November, likely affected by the ‘citizenship saga’ impacting Federal Parliament. The ‘economic conditions, next 12 months’ sub-index fell 6.2%, unwinding most of last month’s strong rise. The ‘economic outlook over the next five years’ sub-index declined 2.2%.”

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