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Australia consumer confidence edges higher in Sept: survey
[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian consumer sentiment edged higher in September as an improvement in personal finances made people more likely to splash out on big ticket items, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank survey of 1,200 people found consumer sentiment rose by 0.3 per cent in September from August, when it increased 2 per cent.
That left the index up a healthy 8 per cent on September last year at 101.4, with optimists outnumbering pessimists.
Sentiment may have been supported by news last week that Australia's economy grew 3.3 per cent in the year to June, marking 25 years without a recession.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) also decided last week to hold rates at a record low of 1.5 per cent following cuts in both August and May.
The impact of falling mortgage rates may have shown in the survey measure of family finances compared to a year ago, which rose 3.5 per cent in September. The measure of whether this was a good time to buy major household items also rose a solid 3.5 per cent.
Other readings were more mixed. The index for finances over the next 12 months dipped 2.3 per cent, after jumping 4.3 per cent in August.
The survey showed expectations for the economic outlook over the next 12 months fell 4.6 per cent, while the outlook for the next five years improved by 1.1 per cent.