Consumers More Confident, Keen To Buy

Posted on 23/11/2018  
Consumers More Confident, Keen To Buy

A measure of Australian consumer confidence improved for a second month in November, with survey respondents more upbeat on their finances and the long-run economic outlook.

The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank index of consumer sentiment rose 2.8% in November, following a 1% gain in October. The index on whether it was a good time to buy a dwelling rose almost `12% in November.

The index has now fully recovered from the drop that occurred in September, as political instability and rises in home loan rates by some of the big banks soured the public mood.

The November reading was up 4.7% on a year earlier at 104.3, meaning optimists outnumbered pessimists.

"This is a surprisingly strong result," says Westpac Chief Economist Bill Evans. "In particular, respondents are much more positive about their own finances. That is despite consistent reports around weakness in the housing markets in the major capitals and the sharp falls in the equity market through October."

The survey's index of family finances compared to a year ago bounced 4.9% in November, to its highest since February 2016, while the outlook for the next 12 months added 3.2%.

While falling home prices in some of the Sydney and Melbourne markets have been affecting sentiment, they were also encouraging demand for houses. The index on whether it was a good time to buy a dwelling jumped 11.8% in November and was up almost 17% on a year earlier.

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