Consumer confidence fell in December, dented by the Reserve Bank’s decision to lift interest rates for the third time in as many months.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer confidence fell by 3.8 percent in December, and is now down 4.7 percent since September.
The fall has come as a surprise to some economists who were predicting the impact would be much worse.
Commenting on the fall, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said: “We expected that there was a real possibility that the index would fall much more sharply than the 3.8 percent registered.”
The Reserve Bank raised interest rates by a further 25 basis points to 3.75 percent at last week’s monthly board meeting, while most banks raised their standard variable mortgage rate by a greater margin, with Westpac almost doubling that of the rate set down by the central bank.