The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last night raised its forecast for global economic growth next year by 0.6 of a percentage point to 2.5 per cent.
The improved outlook coincides with the release of the Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index yesterday, which showed the majority of Australian consumers believe economic conditions and their family finances will improve over the next year.
According to the Index, consumer sentiment increased by 9.3 per cent in July from 100.1 in June to 109.4 in July.
Westpac chief economist, Bill Evans, said the increase in sentiment meant the Index was now printing an increase of 23.2 per cent over the last 2 months, the largest 2 month increase in the Index since the survey began in 1975.
New housing finance figures, also released yesterday, showed consumers are backing their judgement about the economy, arranging a record $12.9 billion in new home loans in May.