10 Jun 2009

Australia avoids recession, confidence soars

9:11 pm on 10 June 2009

Australian consumer confidence has recorded its strongest rebound in 22 years after news last week that the country had avoided a technical recession - two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index surged 12.7% between May and June and now stands at 100 - meaning there are as many optimists as there are pessimists.

The result adds further weight to market expectations that the Reserve Bank of Australia will leave interest rates on hold for at least a month or two more.

However, unemployment figures due out on Thursday are considered a far better measure of whether Australia really is in recession.