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Australia Consumer Confidence Lowest In Nearly Two Months As Covid-19 Cases Surge: ANZ-Roy Morgan

Australia's consumer confidence eased to its lowest level in nearly two months in the July 4-5 weekend after a surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, results of a weekly survey by Roy Morgan showed on Tuesday.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index dropped 0.9 points or 1 percent to 92.1 in the latest weekend. In the previous week, the index fell 4.6 percent.

The reading is now at its lowest level since the May 9-10 weekend, when it was at 90.3. The score is also below the 2020 weekly average of 95.

In the same period last year, the reading was 117.6.

"This was not surprising, with new COVID-19 case numbers continuing to escalate in Melbourne," ANZ senior economist Catherine Birch said.

Melbourne reported around 500 Covid-19 cases in over a week. The city has now been placed in a lockdown.

"While the return to lockdown has so far been localized to 12 postcodes, the confidence effect is more pervasive," Birch said.

"The uncertainty also appears to be discouraging households from committing to large purchases, with 'time to buy a major household item' falling heavily for a second week."

The latest deterioration was led by weakening confidence about the Australian economic outlook and a decline in the willingness-to-buy perceptions, mainly regarding household items.

Households' assessment of current and future financial situation improved slightly and their inflation expectations were stable.

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