The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 6.8% in May from 99.7 in April to 92.9 in May. The sharp fall in the Index is clearly indicating an unfavourable response to the recent Federal Budget. This puts the Index at its lowest level since August 2011, before the Reserve Bank began its recent rate cut cycle. Since November 2011 rates have fallen from 4.75% to 2.5% and the Index is now back below pre-rate-cut levels.
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