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Sydney Morning Herald

National Agenda

Consumer confidence lowest in four years after RBA cut

Westpac's closely watched measure of consumer sentiment fell by 5.5 per cent in October to sit 8.6 per cent lower than a year ago. Confidence has fallen 8.4 per cent since the RBA started cutting rates in June. 
  • Australians are increasingly worried about the country’s economic future in both the short and the long term.  
  • While expectations about house prices have risen strongly, there was a 5.4 per cent drop in the measure of whether it is a good time to buy a property. 
  • Contributing to lack of confidence is lack of federal government stimulus spending, failure of big banks to pass on all of recent interest rate cuts, and ongoing stagnation of wages.  

Takeout

Despite the best attempts of the RBA and the federal government, Australian consumers are pessimistic about the future. Economists will be watching the annual Christmas spend to see whether this lack of confidence is causing consumers to rein in spending, which will have a huge flow-on effect for brands.