The worsening coronavirus outbreak and associated rout in financial markets have had a major impact on sentiment this month. The Index has hit a five year low, economists at Westpac Institutional Bank report. AUD/USD trades at 0.653.
“The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 3.8% to 91.9 in March from 95.5 in February.”
“The survey detail shows consumers are rightly concerned about the near term outlook for the economy but are less perturbed about their finances or the longer term outlook for the economy. That is consistent with the notion that virus-related disruptions will be large but temporary.”
“Financial markets have also reacted sharply. After showing little change in February, the ASX dropped 11.5% between the February and March surveys (and by a further 4.5% since the latest survey closed).”