The Westpac-MI consumer sentiment survey for February is released this morning; a closely watched 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.
- In January the index slid 3.5% to 97.3, taking the index to lows not seen since September 2015.
- Despite the monthly weakness, the index remained 4.3% higher than the levels of a year earlier.
- Four of the surveys five subindices fell during the month, led by a steep drop in sentiment towards family finances.
- Perhaps reflective of the steep stock market losses seen during the month, sentiment towards the property market improved sharply.
- The survey’s measure on whether now was a good time to buy a dwelling jumped by 13.9%, taking the index back to levels last seen in May 2013. The separate house price expectations index mirrored that move, soaring by 21.1%.
The February report is out at 10.30am AEDT.
Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.
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