Do Australian consumers care about chaos?

The January Westpac Consumer Confidence report will be released on Monday. We consider whether consumers will be swayed by COVID and politics.
The post Do Australian consumers care about chaos? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

Wooden blocks spelling out 'Chaos' next to a wooden figurine

The coronavirus and political chaos in the US are hot topics in the headlines today. The Morrison government is under pressure to get the coronavirus vaccine moving and Washington DC is reeling after yesterday’s raid of the US Capitol building.

Coming up this Monday, the monthly Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index number will be released. The index measures the overall level of consumer confidence in economic activity.

Let’s take look at the last index reading and consider how the recent reign of chaos in the States may or may not have an effect.

A December 10-year high

Remarkably, the last consumer sentiment numbers released in December 2020 marked a 10-year high. 

The announcement credited the resilience of Australia’s financial system and the country’s fast response to COVID as indicators of how consumer sentiment reached such an incredible result.

In response to this impressive record, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans boldly stated, “After only eight months the evidence seems clear that sentiment has fully recovered from the COVID recession.”

So what does this tell us? It basically says that, regardless of the lockdown doom and gloom stories and vaccine worries we regularly read about, people are still spending their money.

Markets soar as Washington dives

While the US spent yesterday reeling during the violent riots that stormed the US Capitol building, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a party. The benchmark index jumped 1.59% according to Thursday’s close and opened this morning with a 0.22% gain.

Regardless of what might be happening in the streets of DC, investors are seemingly just happy to see the Democrats making their way back into the White House. Perhaps the political turmoil in the US has become business-as-usual to many market players?

What should we expect from the Westpac Consumer Confidence report?

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and recent rattles caused by US elections, Australian consumers have continued to keep the ship sailing. Employment numbers are improving and people are buying houses. 

These are the type of economic indicators the Westpac Consumer Confidence report takes into consideration and will be reflected when the latest index result is released. 

According to the most recent readings, Australian consumers are resilient. And, regardless of a global health crisis and borderline anarchy in Washington DC, the share market has remained steady. Coming up on Monday, we’ll learn about what the latest consumer sentiment analysis has to say about all of this.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

See The 5 Stocks

*Returns as of June 30th

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Gretchen Kennedy has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post Do Australian consumers care about chaos? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

Trade The World Anywhere & Anytime!

Mobile app platform with over 50,000 global listed securities across 12 markets (over 70% global market capitalisation), right from your Android or iOS device.

Integrated with exclusive trading idea and investment analysis tools to help you find actionable insight on virtually every financial instrument across our 12 global markets, to help you optimise your trading strategies.

Refer Your Friends

Tell your friends about Monex and gift them FREE access to our trading tools.

We respect your privacy and will only send this one email notification to your friends. 

Share With Your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Monex Trading Tools Access and Usage Terms

The Monex Trading Tools (referred to as ‘tools’ hereafter) are available to you inside your client portal;

To activate access to the tools, you must have a verified and approved trading account and have made a deposit of at least AUD $1000.

An active and funded account with a positive trading balance is required to continue to have access to the tools;

Although the tools are available to you indefinitely, Monex Securities may at it’s discretion disable access to the tools in the future;

Monex securities reserves the right to change these terms and conditions from time to time, as it sees fit, without notice.

Important Notice
iOS & Android App - 12 International Markets & Over 70% Global Market Cap. $0 Brokerage On US Trades. Click Here!