Consumer Confidence on a 19-month High
Consumer confidence hit a record 19-month high in July rising 9.3 percent to 109.4. This is the first time since December 2007 that optimists outnumbered the pessimistic group. This is according to the Webpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index.
Additionally, the consumer sentiment index also rose by 23.2 percent from June to July – the highest two-month increase in the index since the organization started measuring in 1974.
“The second largest two-month increase was 18.8 per cent in March 1992, when households were finally convinced that the Australian economy was coming out of recession,” said Bill Evans, chief economist for Webpac.
The positive outlook is, in part, pushed by the Rudd government’s handouts. The March and May $12.7 billion handouts to low and medium-income earners boosted retails sales.
The resilience of the job market is also a contributing factor. Some economists also surmise that the general sentiment is a representation of relief that Australia has dodged the technical recession.