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Floods dampen Australian consumer confidence: survey
Date: 2011/1/25 Click: 968
Australia's Queensland flood disaster has dampened consumer sentiment across the country, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 5.7 percent in January to 104.6 from 111.0 in December.

This was the first survey conducted since the onset of flooding in Queensland.

Chief economist Bill Evans from Westpac, one of the big four Australian banks, said it was an "extremely difficult survey to interpret" given the limited access to residents of Queensland during the early days of the floods.

The survey covered the period of Jan. 10 to 16 and coincided with some of the worst days of the floods.

The result represented a significant fall in the index although it was still around four percent above its long term average, he said.

It was down 12.9 percent from year ago and was eight percent below its average level in 2010.

The survey also showed respondents were anxious about the short term outlook.

Meanwhile, news on the other factors which usually dominate confidence such as interest rates, job prospects, and international economic conditions were relatively stable since the previous survey, Evans said.
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