The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment increased by 6.2 per cent to 118.8 in April from 111.8 in March, representing its highest level since Australia’s post-GFC rebound.
Westpac chief economist Bill Evans described the results as “extraordinary” given their context.
“The survey continues to signal that the consumer will be the key driver of above-trend growth in 2021,” Evans writes in the latest Consumer Sentiment report.
“Consider some of the issues that might have weighed on the Index this month.
“The survey was conducted in the week following the unwinding of the JobKeeper program. Initial fears that this and associated job losses would undermine confidence have proven to be unfounded.
“Secondly, there has been disappointing progress on the vaccine roll-out locally,” he said.
“Compounding this was new advice against giving those aged under 50 the AstraZeneca vaccine due to risks of rare but serious side-effects.”
The results represent an 11-year high, with Australians shrugging off the end of JobKeeper while proving untroubled by widely publicised vaccine delays.
The national survey of 1200 households was conducted between 5 April and 10 April.
Despite the bad headlines that accompanied the period of the survey, consumer confidence has proven “resilient” to the bad news, Evans said.
To read the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, click here.
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