Sentiment hits 10-year low

Steven Cross

Consumer sentiment has fallen to a level not seen in 10 years, the latest Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment has revealed.

“Apart from last year’s lows and the March 2008 to May 2009 period with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we have to go all the way back to 2001 following the bursting of the dot com bubble and the post-Olympics/post-GST slowdown to find sustained lower reads," Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans said.

"From there we have to go all the way back to 1992 to find the next series of lower prints."

Mr Evans said he was surprised to see sentiment drop below the levels recorded during the heights of the GFC.

“With conditions in the global economy improving and commentators interpreting the Reserve Bank Governor's latest statement as hinting strongly that rates are likely to be cut next month it seems surprising that households would have a negative reaction in April,” he said.

“We can only conclude that concerns around job security, house prices, high debt levels, petrol prices, utility costs, and uncertainty around the imminent introduction of a price on carbon, are weighing heavily on households' concerns about their financial position.”

Steven Cross

Consumer sentiment has fallen to a level not seen in 10 years, the latest Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment has revealed.

“Apart from last year’s lows and the March 2008 to May 2009 period with the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), we have to go all the way back to 2001 following the bursting of the dot com bubble and the post-Olympics/post-GST slowdown to find sustained lower reads," Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans said.

"From there we have to go all the way back to 1992 to find the next series of lower prints."

Mr Evans said he was surprised to see sentiment drop below the levels recorded during the heights of the GFC.

“With conditions in the global economy improving and commentators interpreting the Reserve Bank Governor's latest statement as hinting strongly that rates are likely to be cut next month it seems surprising that households would have a negative reaction in April,” he said.

“We can only conclude that concerns around job security, house prices, high debt levels, petrol prices, utility costs, and uncertainty around the imminent introduction of a price on carbon, are weighing heavily on households' concerns about their financial position.”

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