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‘It’s a scary prospect’: Consumer sentiment hits 30-year lows

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Westpac’s closely watched Consumer Sentiment index recorded its biggest fall in the survey’s 47-year history, collapsing to levels not seen since the 1991 recession.

Fears over a looming recession caused by the coronavirus saw the index plunge by 17.7%, the biggest monthly fall since the survey began

“The survey has covered some pretty terrible times including the early 70s recession, the early 80s recession, the early 90s recession,” Westpac Chief Economist Bill Evans tells Scott Haywood.

While the monthly decline is the largest on record, the index is yet to bottom out at sits at 75.6, roughly 10 points higher than the lowest ever level of 64.6 recorded at the bottom of the 1991 recession.

“It took about two years of deterioration to get there, this has taken one month,

“It’s quite a scary prospect.”

Click PLAY to hear from Westpac chief economist Bill Evans: