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Consumer confidence jumps 8.3 percent, aided by stimulus payments

It seems consumers are still thinking positively, despite the fact that Australia is now in a recession with The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increasing by 8.3 percent in April, from 85.6 in March to 92.7.

Westpac Chief Economist, Bill Evans was surprised by such a big jump.

“This is a surprisingly strong result. It follows last month’s display of resilience.”

He attributes the jump in part to a stronger Australian dollar, along with the anticipation of the Federal Government’s $900 stimulus payments.

“This month there has been more positive economic information. We have found that generally Australians respond positively to a rising Australian dollar.

“Anticipation of the cash payments is likely to be a key factor behind the surge in consumer’s assessments of their financial positions,” Evans said.

Consumers assessments of their financial position has increased by 10.8 percent relative to a year ago, while expectations for the next year were up by 11.8 percent.

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