The Westpac-Melbourne fell in August, down 0.4% from the previous month reversing some of the gain in that month. The decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to hold steady interest rates for the second straight month at 4.1% after raising it by 400bps since May 2022 did little to ease worries about the impact of high borrowing costs.
“The August survey detail pointed to little or no impact from the RBA’s decision to pause. Responses showed no improvement over the course of survey week, sentiment instead declining 4.9% between those surveyed prior to the RBA decision and those surveyed after. The sub-group detail also continued to show a disappointing reaction from the mortgage belt – sentiment amongst consumers with a mortgage down 7.2% in the August month and, 0.8% below its June level despite the two-month pause.”