It seems the budget blues aren’t over with taxation, services and the effects of the federal budget continuing to affect consumer sentiment.



This latest information comes through the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index, sowing a 4.5 per cent fall in September to 94 basis points. Since the federal budget announcement the Consumer Sentiment Index has remained below 100 points. This indicates a substantial pessimism towards the immediate and medium-term future of the economy.

The falling rte of consumer confidence is likely to put pressure on the Reserve Bank to keep interest rates low in an effort to stimulate the economy.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for the government with the Australian unemployment level falling from its July 12-year high of 6.4 per cent to 6.1 per cent in August.

This figure reflected the creation of 121,000 new jobs, for a total of 11.704 million.

Economists are predicting unemployment to continue its gradual decline. The ABS also released participation rate figures – this is the aggregate figure of those employed, seeking employment or about to begin work. The participation rate has risen to 65.2 per cent, up 0.4 per cent from the July figure.

Full-time positions increase by 4,300 to 8.094 million, while part-time positions surged by 106,700 to 3.069 million.

The combination of improved employment figures and lower consumer sentiment probably indicates the fiscal restraint put forth in the budget is already working towards its goals. Greater income + less spending = the ability to pay off debt. Jobless figures per state were:

TAS ▼ to 7.1%

VIC ▼  To 6.8%

QLD ▼ To 6.7%

SA  ▼ To 5.9%

NSW ▼ To 5.7%

WA ▼ To 5.0%

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