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Financial News: Australia's Consumer Confidence Weakens In January

Australia's Consumer Confidence Weakens In January

01/21/2020 - 22:55:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's consumer confidence declined in January as devastating bushfires weighed on economic growth outlook, survey data from Westpac showed on Wednesday.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment declined 1.8 percent to 93.4 in January from 95.1 in December.

This was somewhat surprising that the fall during the period of bushfire was not more severe particularly in light of the 5.8 percent fall reported during the Queensland floods in 2011.

As the index stayed at a moderate level, it was likely that the fall in confidence would be less than some may have expected.

All the economic components of the index namely, assessment about the economic situation over the coming year and next five years and time to buy major household items weakened in January.

Nonetheless, optimism around financial markets and the global economy improved in January. The housing related components of the survey also pointed to ongoing confidence in the housing market.

The Reserve Bank Board next meets on February 4. Westpac expects that the board to cut the cash rate by 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent.

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