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Australia's consumer confidence fall 3.5% in August

08-10-2011 15:19 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia's consumer confidence fall in August, given the recent turbulence in global financial markets, latest survey showed on Wednesday.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index, released on Wednesday, showed a 3.5 percent fall in August to 89.6 points, its lowest level since May 2009.

According to Westpac's chief economist Bill Evans, the moderate fall comes on the back of a large 8.3 percent slide in July.

"As expected, this financial turmoil has added another dimension of risk to consumers over and above those issues associated with interest rates; house prices; carbon tax; and potentially, jobs," he said in the report.

Meanwhile, Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said it is not surprising that consumer confidence continues to be affected given the uncertainty in global economy and turbulence on financial markets.

However, he said Australians should not lose sight of the economy's fundamental strengths that were "strongly endorsed" by the International Monetary Fund in a weekend analysis.

Recently, economists doubted the continued strength of the Chinese economy for some years, also raising questions raised about the Australian government's ability to meet its promise of bringing the budget back to surplus in 2012/13, given a rocky international economy.

Swan said he is confident the Chinese economy will continue to grow strongly.

"I believe China will continue to grow strongly ... I am very confident that this region will remain strong," Swan told ABC Television on Wednesday.

"That is another reason why Australia will be strong and continue to be strong in the circumstances that we find ourselves with the turbulence in the global economy, particularly in Europe and particularly in the United States."

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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