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Australia Consumer confidence takes hit after bushfires

10:50  18 january  2020
10:50  18 january  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

Australian dollar struggles to get any lift from upbeat data

  Australian dollar struggles to get any lift from upbeat data Australian dollar struggles to get any lift from upbeat dataJust a couple of weeks ago it had been as high as $0.7032.

After many major bushfires , state and federal governments in Australia have initiated inquiries to see what could be done to address the problem. These Fire Danger Ratings are a feature of weather forecasts and alert the community to the actions they should take in preparation of the day.

New data from Equifax Consumer Confidence Index reveals 5% drop* in consumers feeling confident they will be able to meet their financial commitments. In the aftermath of the General Election, credit information provider Equifax, conducted its monthly Consumer Confidence survey*.

Consumer confidence has taken a hit as Australia tries to come to terms with the devastating bushfire crisis.

Economists are convinced the Reserve Bank will respond by cutting interest rates as early as next month, but some warn the record-low rates are already scaring shoppers.

Stephen Bartos, the director of Pegasus Economics, says tourism and agriculture could take a hit.

"It'll take years, it's not a quick recovery," he told 9News.

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Market researcher GfK says that consumer confidence has hit a five-year low in the UK following the result of the EU referendum. According to GfK, consumer confidence is currently graded -9, down from -1 in the previous month. The company said that this was the steepest decline it has seen since

Tourism industry takes b hit as Australians cancel their holidays. Tourists are abandoning regional Victoria and NSW in droves, with cancellation rates of more than 60 per cent even in towns outside the bushfire zones causing economic damage of up to billion.

And it's feared the crisis will diminish consumer confidence, which is already painfully low.

"People are uncertain, they're upset, we've already had some readings on consumer sentiment since the bushfires began, they have looked consistently bad," Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics told 9News.

a sunset over a fire: A home lost to a bushfire on Hassall Road in Buxton as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the south west of Sydney, Thursday, December 19, 2019. Temperatures in the 40's and high north westerly winds under extreme fire conditions are fanning a a number of fires around Sydney. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) © AAP A home lost to a bushfire on Hassall Road in Buxton as the Green Wattle Creek Fire threatens a number of communities in the south west of Sydney, Thursday, December 19, 2019. Temperatures in the 40's and high north westerly winds under extreme fire conditions are fanning a a number of fires around Sydney. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

And that could stop people spending.

The Reserve Bank is expected to respond by cutting interest rates.

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  Small business makes case for cash injection in “historic” roundtable with Prime Minister Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised additional Commonwealth support for small businesses affected by bushfire as soon as next week.Representatives from more than 50 business lobby groups and community organisations met for a two-hour meeting with the PM, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash yesterday afternoon in Canberra to discuss urgent Commonwealth support for struggling SMEs.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index fell to 119.8 in September from 120.4 in August. Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that confidence "decreased considerably" in hurricane- hit Florida and Texas. The reading still shows that U.S. consumers are in a mostly sunny

A much larger-than-expected drop in consumer confidence drove U.S. stocks lower on Tuesday as investors reassessed the pace of the economic recovery. Technology shares led declines with chip maker Intel Corp down 2.6 percent to .33 and the S&P information technology sector <.GSPT

The cash rate is already at a record low of 0.75 per cent after three cuts last year.

"In one sense, those low interest rates are themselves starting to scare people a bit," Mr Richardson said.

The federal government has announced a $2 billion recovery fund and says it will soon deliver help to people outside of the bushfire zones.

One industry expected to get a boost from the bushfire crisis is construction.

But the Rural Fire Service is warning residents that rebuilding could cost more than expected because unprecedented fire conditions means buildings will need to be tougher.

Pictures: Australia’s most deadly and destructive bushfires

a red fire engine is parked in the grass: Wildfires have ravaged the Australian landscape since time immemorial, and while these blazes can be a natural part of the nation's ecology, they often result in devastating loss of life and serious injuries, as well as damage to property and swathes of farmland. Worryingly, experts warn that climate change is turning parts of the country into a tinderbox, exacerbating bushfire risk. As multiple infernos rage through the east coast, we take a look back in time at the most catastrophic conflagrations ever.

At Microsoft News Australia we've partnered with the giving platform Benevity to raise funds for Australian Red Cross, St Vincent De Paul Society and The Salvation Army; these organisations are helping communities across the country devastated by bushfires. You can help these organisations by donating here and for the latest news plus RFS and CFS links visit Bushfire emergency.

Bushfires sends consumer confidence lower as mini retail boom rolls over .
Given the devastation caused by months of fire, it is hardly surprising consumer confidence has wilted again, and that means there is likely to be little respite for struggling retailers.The respected Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment dipped deeper into pessimism falling a further 1.8 per cent to 93.4 in January.

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