Your 10-second guide to today's Australian consumer sentiment report


This morning the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment survey for November will be released, a closely analysed report that reveals expectations for the economy, consumer spending, labour market conditions and house prices in the months ahead.

Here’s the state of play.

  • The survey is based upon responses from 1,200 adults across Australia and is generally conducted the week prior to the results being released.
  • A reading of 100 is deemed neutral, meaning the number of optimists and pessimists is equal. A figure above 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists while a figure below 100 suggests pessimists outnumber optimists.
  • Pessimists have outnumbered optimists in 18 of the past 20 months.
  • In October the index jumped 4.2% to 97.8, largely on the back of improved sentiment towards family finances, whether it was a good time to buy a major household item and the near-term economic outlook.
  • There was also good news on the state of the labour market with the survey’s unemployment expectations gauge plunging by 16.3%, taking the index to the lowest level seen since November 2011.
  • While perceptions towards the labour market strengthened markedly, housing market sentiment continued to cool.
  • The survey’s “time to buy a dwelling” index fell 0.4%, taking the decline from a year earlier to 11%. The separate “house price expectations” index slid 3.9%, extending its slide from December 2013 to 25%.
  • Yesterday the separate ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index rose to the highest level seen since January 2014. Although individual surveys, given they both measure sentiment and were conducted around the same time, it suggests risks heading into the event are skewed to the upside today.

Westpac will release the November report at 10.30am AEDT. Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.

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