Tight Christmas May Await Retailers Amid Falling Consumer Sentiment

Westpac Consumer Sentiment November

Just when retailers were hoping for a good Christmas spend, consumer sentiment has taken a tumble.

The signs so far had been good: firming housing market and a positive outlook from the federal election.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 4.8% in December to 105.0 in December from 110.3 in November.

Westpac says:

“This is the lowest level of the Index since July this year. It is 4.3% below the average print for the last 3 months which covered the
post-election period and the time of most euphoria around house prices. It appears that the boost in Confidence partly associated with the election result and booming house prices has faded in December. In particular, confidence around the economic outlook has faltered. The components of the Index measuring consumer views on the economic outlook over the next 12 months and 5 years are both down by over 10% from their average reads over the last 3 months.”

More more consumers expect unemployment to rise with the Westpac Melbourne Institute Unemployment Expectations Index increasing by 4.6% from 144.7 to 151.4.

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