May 9 - A measure of Australian consumer sentiment fell in June as a coronavirus lockdown in Victoria state darkened the mood despite signs of strength across the economy.
The consumer sentiment index released on Wednesday fell in June to 5.2%, on top of a 4.8% drop the month before.
This left the index up 14.5% on June of last year when the country emerged from a round of national lockdowns. The index reading of 107.2 showed optimists still outnumbered pessimists, although the margin was narrowing.
The latest fall in June is almost certainly due to fears about the two-week lockdown in Melbourne, said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans. The survey was conducted during the first week of lockdown.
The Victorian authorities are expected to announce a relaxation of restrictions in Melbourne soon with only one case of locally sp- 19 reported for Tuesday, COVID - 19.
While the sentiment in New South Wales fell a sharp 7.5% with a drop of just 1.1%, Victoria fared better than Victoria.
The drop of the overall index came across all components, with the measure for family finances falling 8.5% compared to a year ago and that of the financial stability over the next 12 months dropping 2.0%.
The outlook for the economy fell 10.3% over the next 12 months, while this declined to 1.4% for the next five years.
The measure of whether it was a good time to buy a major household item fell 4.1% last year.
The housing market remained a hot topic with the Survey's index of house price expectations at an historically high 157 but intentions to buy significantly as affordability suffered.
Price increasers and rapidly deteriorating affordability are clearly starting to weigh heavily on first home buyers, suggesting the business activity of owners, especially buyers, is likely to fade, said Evans. What do you think of the Greek president who has thrown a card for us and your wife?