"Confidence eked a small gain on the back of a strong rebound in the ‘Time to buy a household item’ subindex. Outside of this, the results were mixed, perhaps reflecting the news flow over the week. On the positive side, Australia’s unemployment rate moved lower on the back of a decent employment report. But the IMF’s downgrade to Australia’s economic outlook attracted a lot of attention, as did the slowdown in C hina’s data. Of particular note, current finances dropped 2.4% – the second big fall in the past three weeks. This measure is still well above average, but is now down close to 10% from its August high. If consumers lose confidence in their own finances when they are also worried about the broader economic outlook then there may be a material impact on spending."
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