[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian consumer sentiment slid in September as people became more worried about their finances as well as the outlook for the economy in the year ahead.
The survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank showed its index of consumer sentiment fell a seasonally adjusted 5.6 per cent in September, from August when it jumped a surprisingly large 7.8 per cent. "There was always likely to be some correction this month,"said Westpac chief economist, Bill Evans. "Of course the deluge of disturbing news around violent gyrations in both Australian and overseas equity markets; poor economic data from China; a disappointing report on Australia's growth rate and the weakness in the Australian dollar were also likely to have unnerved households." The index reading of 93.9 was 0.1 per cent lower than in September last year and showed pessimists outnumbered optimists.
The details of the survey were generally negative.
The measure of family finances compared to a year ago fell 5.7 per cent. The outlook for the next 12 months dipped 1.1 per cent.
The survey's measure of economic conditions for the next 12 months slumped 11.2 per cent, although that for the next 5 years actually rose 6.2 per cent.