Weekend Economist: Consumers spooked

Consumer confidence is no match for a string of headline grabbing job losses and consistent economic negativity.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index has now fallen 10.9 per cent from its November peak of 110.3 and is at its lowest level since May last year. The initial declines in December-January looked to be mainly the unwinding of the election-related sentiment boost. More recent falls though have had a very clear theme centring on a sharp loss of confidence in the economic outlook and escalating job-loss fears.

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