Australians not spending despite cheap fuel, low interest rates: report

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-2-23 9:33:33

Australian consumers are not feeling confident despite lower fuel prices and interest rates, according to a new report released by the nation's biggest bank on Monday.

The latest Business Sales Indicator report of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which looks at the transaction history of only CBA customers, showed that consumer spending continued to fall and was down 2 percent in January, marking the slowest pace of growth in spending since 2012.

However, chief economist Craig James of Commonwealth Securities said the benefits of lower petrol prices and rates should boost spending in the coming months.

"With costs easing up for many households following the fall in petrol prices and recent interest rate cut, we can expect many consumers to slowly start opening their wallets and increase their spending as we progress through 2015," he said in a statement.

"Overall, the economy is in a relative stable position, so business owners should start planning for growth in 2015 and take advantage of the expected increase in household disposable income."

The price of fuel has fallen nearly 20 Australian cents (15.69 US cents) per liter over the past three months and interest rates have also been at historic lows at 2.25 percent.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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