Isolating Australia’s most optimistic consumer (and the most anxious)

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The ideal consumer for your average retail consumer electronics store is a 30-year-old male professional who rents a house in the city, earns more than $60,000 per year and intends to vote Labor at the next federal election.

This somewhat crude synopsis based on Westpac-MI’s latest consumer sentiment index, which was released earlier today. Although consumer sentiment overall is down 5.3 per cent on last month, and 6.4 per cent year-on-year, Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said this was a resilient outcome. He cited last week’s interest rate rise and the CBA’s additional interest rate rise as reasons for the drop, which he anticipated as being much worse.

Amongst the findings released today, there are some interesting results. Firstly, Labor voters are much more optimistic than Coalition voters, outscoring confidencing them 124 to 104. Optimism is also rife amongst men, who rate 119 to 102 oven women.

The biggest gap of all, however, is not surprising. The highest rated employment type is Manager/Professional at 119, easily surpassing Tradespeople, Sales/Clerical and Labourer/Operator.

Using the same formula for identifying Australia’s most optimistic consumers, we can also deduce the most anxious. We found her to be a 50-year-old Liberal voting sales clerk from the country who owns her own home despite earning less the $20,000 per annum.

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