Weekend Economist: Pessimism pervades

Recent surveys highlight lasting fears about the Australian economy, although leading indicators point to a turnaround.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 1.9 per cent in November from 94.8 in October to 96.6 in November. The Index is 12.5 per cent below its level of a year ago and 3.6 per cent below its level before the lead up period to the Commonwealth budget in May. In fact, we have now seen nine consecutive months where pessimists have outnumbered optimists. That is the longest run of pessimists outnumbering optimists since the Global Financial Crisis and before that the recession of the early 1990s.

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