Con­fi­dence bot­toms out

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

CON­SUMER sen­ti­ment has fallen to its low­est level in nine months on higher petrol prices and con­cerns about tax is­sues, a sur­vey shows. The West­pacMel­bourne In­sti­tute in­dex of con­sumer sen­ti­ment fell 2.4 per cent to 104.1 points in March, fol­low­ing a 1.9 per cent in­crease in Fe­bru­ary. While the in­dex is 11.3 per cent be­low its level a year ago, any read­ing above 100 points shows the num­ber of op­ti­mists still out­weighs the num­ber of pes­simists. West­pac chief econ­o­mist Bill Evans said the re­sult was weaker than ex­pected. ‘‘ It is the low­est read since June 2010 af­ter three con­sec­u­tive rate hikes and con­tro­versy over the min­ing tax,’’ Mr Evans said.

Bill Evans

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