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Australia consumer sentiment picks up in June
[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian consumer sentiment increased marginally in June after two straight monthly declines as consumers felt more confident about their current and future family finances.
A Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank survey of 1,200 people published on Wednesday showed its index of consumer sentiment climbed 0.3 per cent in June from May, when it fell 0.6 per cent.
The index was up 6.1 per cent on June last year at 102.2, meaning optimists just outnumbered pessimists.
The June survey was conducted in the week when consumers heard that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held its cash rates at a record low 1.50 per cent and the economy expanded at a brisk 1.0 per cent pace in the March quarter.
"While the improved tone to sentiment compared to last year is welcome, the mix is still not pointing to a sustained lift in consumer demand," said Westpac Senior Economist Matthew Hassan.
"That will be mildly disappointing for the RBA with their forecast for above trend growth this year and next resting in part on a lift in consumption growth."
A separate weekly measure by ANZ-Roy Morgan bounced a strong 5.6 per cent last week.