Trial now
GILTS

UK 5s/30s drifts towards Friday's low

CZECHIA

CZKJPY Found Support Above 38.2% Fibo Level

--Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment Index Below 100 for Ninth Month
     SYDNEY (MNI) - A second important monthly economic survey published this
week shows the main uncertainty for the Reserve Bank of Australia's forecasts
for growth and inflation is set to remain for longer -- posing downside risks to
the forecast.
     Data from Westpac-MI consumer sentiment survey for August published
Wednesday showed family finances remain under pressure with the "family finances
vs a year ago" subindex falling 5.1% to 78.1 -- its lowest since June. 
     Much of the weakness is likely to reflect a mix of weak growth in wages,
increases in costs such as electricity and emerging concerns about rising
interest rates, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said. Together they may force
households to cut consumption.
     On Tuesday National Australia Bank's July business survey showed another
month of elevated readings of business confidence and conditions this year but
also showed a renewed weakness in the retail sector, a drop in retail prices and
a slowing of wage costs.
     Three of the five components of the index remained below 100 with "time to
buy major household item" the only one easing -- to 116.1 but staying above 100.
"Family finances next 12 months" was marginally above 100 at 100.4. 
     Overall, the index remained below 100 for the ninth consecutive month --
the longest weak steak since 2008. The further weakening in sentiment came
despite some positives leading into the month's survey, Westpac said. The RBA
again opted to leave interest rates unchanged at its August meeting while its
governor Philip Lowe sent a clear signal in a recent speech that rates were on
hold in the immediate future. Other positives included a continued improvement
in labor market
     Some of the softening may be also be a result of a delayed reaction to
recent mortgage-rate increases -- the large  banks raised rates on interest-only
mortgages in late June. After posting a surprisingly firm 4.7% rise in July
sentiment among consumers with a mortgage fell 6.3% in August, Westpac said.
     From Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment for August
published Wednesday:
                                        August   July
-----------------------------------------------------
Sentiment Index                           95.5   96.6
Current-Conditions Index                  97.1  102.2
Expectations Index                        94.3   92.9
Family Finances Vs Year Ago               78.1   82.3
Family Finances Next 12 Months           100.4   98.4
Economic Conditions Next 12 Months        93.3   92.9
Economic Conditions Next 5 Years          89.3   87.3
Good Time to Buy Major Household Items   116.1  122.0
--MNI Sydney Bureau; tel: +61 2-9716-5467; email: sophia.rodrigues@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MTABLE,MALDS$,MMLRB$,M$A$$$,M$L$$$,MT$$$$]