Australian consumer confidence rises 3.3% in October: survey

13:14, October 13, 2010      

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Australian consumer confidence rebounded in October after the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) extended a pause on interest rate increases earlier in the month, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment Index rose 3.3 percent in October from 113.2 points in September to 117.0 points, well above the 100 level that separates optimists from pessimists.

"There were many reasons to expect the index to bounce back from the surprise five percent fall in September," Australian major bank Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said in a statement.

"The decision by the Reserve Bank to keep rates on hold at the October board meeting would have buoyed consumers," Evans said.

The RBA surprised many on Oct. 5 by leaving the cash rate unchanged at 4.5 percent for the fifth month in a row.

The data showed house prices were deteriorating, with a 1.5 percent fall in the house prices on the three months to August.

The index measuring responses to "family finances compared to 12 months ago" fell 0.8 percent, while the index tracking expectations for finances over the next 12 months fell 3.8 percent.



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