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Australian consumer sentiment falls again in May
[SYDNEY] A measure of Australian consumer sentiment eased again in May as consumers remained cautious about the outlook for family finances.
A Melbourne Institute and Westpac Bank survey of 1,200 people published on Wednesday showed its index of consumer sentiment dipped 0.6 per cent in May, from April when it fell by a similar amount.
The index was still up 3.9 per cent on April last year at 101.8, meaning optimists just outnumbered pessimists.
The survey, conducted over May 7 to 12, comes just a week after the government handed out a voter-friendly budget, unveiling a package of income tax cuts.
"This is a disappointing update," said Westpac Chief Economist Bill Evans. "Despite what appears to have been a well-received Federal Budget, consumer sentiment has continued to drift lower."
Earlier this week, two opinion polls showed Australia's centre-right government still trailed the opposition suggesting the budget failed to deliver a much-needed boost for the ruling coalition.