Australian consumer confidence up slightly in April: survey

15:19, April 13, 2011      

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Consumer sentiment in Australia has risen slightly in April as overseas turmoil weighed on confidence, a survey by Westpac Banking Corp and Melbourne Institute showed on Wednesday.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 1.2 percent in April to 105.3.

This followed a 2.4 percent fall in the consumer sentiment index in March.

Westpac senior economist Bill Evans said it was a fairly predictable and lacklustre result.

"Over the month, households have been exposed to both positive and negative influences," Evans said.

"On the positive side, we have seen the Reserve Bank hold rates steady for the fifth consecutive month. Job prospects and security remain strong," he said.

"On the negative side, we have seen the frightening events in Japan and ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. This has seen the crude oil price rise."

Four of the five components of the consumer sentiment index increased in April.

The index measuring assessments of family finances rose 1.4 percent from March.

The outlook for economic conditions over the next 12 months rose by 3.4 percent, whereas the five-year outlook fell by 3.3 percent.

The index of whether it is a good time to buy a major household item was up by 3.5 percent.

Source: Xinhua
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