Consumer confidence falls

Consumer confidence falls
Consumer confidence has fallen 1.2 per cent from 96.6 in July to 95.5 in August in the latest Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment.

Any number below 100 points to more pessimistic consumers than optimistic ones.

It is the ninth consecutive month where pessimists have outnumbered optimists.

“We have not seen such a succession of weak reads since 2008,” Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans said.

“The survey detail suggests increased pressures on family finances; concerns around interest rates; and housing affordability in NSW and Victoria are more than outweighing increased confidence around jobs.”

The index showed there is pressure on family finances with the sub-index tracking views on ‘finances vs a year ago’ falling 5.1 per cent to 78.1.

This is the lowest level since June 2014, when consumers were shocked by the Abbott government’s first Budget.

“Much of the weakness is likely to reflect a mix of weak growth in wages; increases in key costs such as electricity and emerging concerns about rising interest rates,” Mr Evans said.


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