Consumer confidence kicks off 2019 with whimper

I don’t usually report the weekly number given its volatility but given it is the first of 2019 here it is via BI:

The headline sentiment index fell 2.2% to 115.2:

Four of the five components weakened in the latest survey.

Sentiment on current financial conditions fell for a third consecutive week, slumping 4.3%. Confidence towards the economic outlook also softened with views looking one and five years ahead declining by 4.2% and 3.1% respectively.

Hinting that Australia’s housing market downturn is impacting demand for major household items, the “time to buy” subindex fell by 1.1%, leaving it further below its long-run average. That result fits with recent data on Australian new car sales which fell heavily in the year to December.

The only component to register an increase was sentiment towards future financial conditions which rose by 1.1%, perhaps assisted by increased chatter that the next move in official interest rates from the RBA may actually be lower, not higher.

David Plank, Head of Australian Economics at ANZ Bank, said the Australian media, along with the performance of the Australian cricket team, may have contributed to the soft result.

“On the domestic front, sentiment has likely been affected by the media’s focus on falling house prices,” he said. “The cricket may not be helping either!”

It’s Virat Kohli’s fault then.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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    • Hang on could there be something to this?

      1983 recession: caused by retirement of Lillee, Marsh and G Chappell
      1987 stock market crash: due to those dark days of Border captaincy before the resurgence; two Ashes series lost in a row
      (1991-2 recession: outlier! Waugh captaincy conquered the world)
      2007: Warne and McGrath retire; GFC ensues.

      Seems pretty clear to me.

  1. When are the retail sales figures for the Xmas period going to be available? Who puts those out?