Consumer sentiment drops 2.5 per cent

Australians are feeling less positive about their own financial situations and the current economic climate, according to the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment index.

The index, released yesterday (August 14), saw consumer sentiment drop 2.5 per cent following a positive 3.7 per cent rise last month.

"This is a disappointing result," said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.

"There has been enough positive news around since the last survey, and generally over the last few months, to have sustained an upswing in consumer sentiment."

Mr Evans said that the index was still hovering in the "cautiously optimistic" range, however noted that a better result was expected following a strong stock market performance, a decrease in unemployment and positive signs from Europe.

Households feeling less confident about their current situation might consider comparing their electricity and gas suppliers to ensure that they are with the best providers to suit their needs.

With gas prices on the rise across much of the country, this can be an effective way to save on your utility bills and ensure there is a little bit left over at the end of the month.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment index is compiled based on a survey of 1,000 people from throughout Australia and currently sits at 96.6, which is up 7.8 per cent from this time last year.

Posted by Callum Fleming