Australia Westpac-MI consumer sentiment rose 2.0% to 106.2 in September. The index remained comfortably above the levels five years prior to the pandemic. Confidence in New South Wales rose 5.3% while Victoria was steady at 104.1, despite extended lockdown in both states. Queensland jumped 8.4% to 111.6. Overall, the data indicates strong resilience of consumer sentiment and positives reactions to vaccination progresses.
Westpac added that given that RBA has already defer the next review of the asset purchase program to February, it’s highly unlikely that there will be any policy changes before that meeting. Nevertheless, it added, “with the US Federal Reserve likely to have begun its tapering program by then and the economy likely to be bouncing back as high vaccination levels see easing restrictions, we expect the Board to further taper its bond purchases in February.”