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Australia consumer sentiment jumps in May: Survey
[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian consumer sentiment surged in May as people's outlook on the economy brightened following this month's interest rate cut and after the government unveiled a budget that included a surprise tax break for small businesses.
Wednesday's survey of 1,200 people by the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank showed its index of consumer sentiment rose a seasonally adjusted 6.4 per cent in May, from April when it fell 3.2 per cent.
The index reading of 102.4 was 10.1 per cent higher than in May last year. "It is the first time since February this year that the Index has been above 100, the point above which optimists outnumber pessimists. It is the highest level of the Index since January last year," said Bill Evans, Westpac's chief economist.
"Clearly, the two driving forces behind this boost have been the Federal Budget and the interest rate cut."
The May survey showed its measure of economic conditions for the next 12 months climbed 9.2 per cent, while that for the next 5 years soared 20.2 per cent.
A measure of family finances compared to a year ago rose 5.8 per cent, while the outlook for the next 12 months gained 2.2 per cent.