Australia Consumer Confidence Rises In February


Australia's consumer confidence advanced in February but sentiment remained weak overall, survey data from Westpac showed on Wednesday.


The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 2.3 percent to 95.5 in February from 93.4 a month ago.


Despite the moderate improvement, sentiment remained weak overall. The score also remained well below the long run average of 101.4. A reading below 100 indicates that pessimists outnumber optimists.


The survey revealed that the lift in sentiment reflects easing concerns around bushfires and comes despite some significant negative developments, most notably the coronavirus outbreak abroad.


The Reserve Bank Board next meets on March 3. Westpac expects the central bank to again leave rates unchanged but retain a clear easing bias, Matthew Hassan, a senior economist at Westpac said.

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