Business conditions remained above average in September as confidence reversed its August decline. In contrast, despite improving in October on more favorable political conditions and gains in financial markets, the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index remained below the 100 benchmark, implying pessimists outnumber optimists. This is the 18th month of the past 20 that this has been the case. In terms of the detail, family finances and the outlook for the labour market were viewed as more favourable in October, supporting households' willingness to spend. However, perceptions of the housing market deteriorated further to be markedly below their 2013 peak levels. Next week the focus will be on China as Q3 GDP is released. We will also receive the RBA October meeting minutes.
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