Consumers remain downbeat: Westpac

Consumer sentiment has risen but households still remain glum, according to the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of consumer sentiment.

The index rose 2.5 per cent in September to 97.9 points, from 95.5 in August.

Still, that was 3.5 per cent weaker compared with a year ago.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said pressures on family finances, interest rate concerns, deteriorating housing affordability and rising energy prices were having an impact.

“Pressures on family finances, concerns around interest rates, deteriorating housing affordability and rising energy prices have all weighed on confidence in 2017,” Mr Evans said, 

“These factors are more than offsetting the boost from an improved outlook for jobs particularly when a stronger labour market has not been associated with increased wages growth. 

The key area of concern was family finances.

While that sub-index rose 6.1 per cent compared with the August reading, it was coming off a three-year low.

Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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