CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

After a heavy drop in consumer confidence post-Christmas, the Westpac-Melbourne Institute recorded a 4.3% increase in February.

The surprising turnaround is being attributed to the Reserve Bank’s recent decision to maintain interest rates at 1.5% rather than increase them, as many consumers had feared.

Though the house-price expectation index dropped to its lowest level since it began in 2009, this doesn’t appear to have spilled too heavily into overall confidence.

On a less optimistic note for retailers, the metric that tracks whether consumers consider it a good time to buy a major household item increased only +0.3%.

To access the full report click SMI Update January 2019 (005):

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