Consumer sentiment has suffered since the beginning of 2020. Australian consumer sentiment was suppressed in January by the bushfire crisis. Since then, the coronavirus epidemic has harmed consumer sentiment, which remains weak at 95.5 despite a small rise of 2.3% in February.
However, Westpac surveys indicate that most consumers believe that economic hardship will be limited to the short term and that once the virus has passed the economy should stage a rapid recovery. This means that consumers continue to plan for expenditure on major items such as end-of-year holidays, reducing the impact of falling consumer sentiment on the overall economy.