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Consumer Confidence Shattered



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Senator Jim Short

The succession of Paul Keating to the Lodge has further undermined consumer sentiment. The Westpac-Molbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment released today discloses a further 3,8 point fall in January over and above the sharp fall in December. This is a continuation of the progressive and damaging slide since July 1991.

Today's survey reinforces the implications of last week's (November) retail trade figures, th at consumer confidence is shattered. Christmas is generally a period of positive growth in retail sales and consumer sentiment. Instead, extremely negative sentiment exists as a result of the record high unemployment figures (also released last week) and Lack of confidence in Keating's ability to deliver the answers.

The survey revealed that two thirds of respondents now believe economic conditions will be bad over the coming year. This is the clearest signal to Keating th at ordinary people do not believe his Economic Statement will bring the much needed boost Australia needs.

Despite the Prime Minister's much publicised consultations with business and union leaders, this survey - taken during this process - shows that consumers have no confidence that Keating's public relations travelling roadshows will produce anything worthwhile.

Australians are crying out for a boost in confidence, a hope for the future, a sign that recovery is under way. This Government clearly can not provide these.

If Keating really believes that The Entrance by-election result was adversely affected by the Coalition's "Fightback" package, then why doesn't he put forward his alternative vision for Australia and call a general election to let the judgement of the Australian electorate decide.

ACTING SHADOW TREASURER SMF 17/92

nOTJKIIMBIR CONFIDENCE SHATTERED

Melbourne 23 January 1992

COMMONWEALTH I

P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY l M IC A H

Contact: Senator Jim Short (03)387-4177