Nila Sweeney

By Robert Carry

Consumer confidence has fallen after the second consecutive interest rate rise while business confidence is recovering, separate surveys have shown.

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell by 2.5% to 118.3 in November, down from 121.4 in October.

Westpac's chief economist Bill Evans said the fall was "moderate” in light of the second consecutive increase in the Reserve Bank's overnight cash rate and associated increases in variable mortgage rates.

He pointed out, "The level of the Index is still 38.3 per cent above its level from a year ago.”

The National Australia Bank's (NAB) monthly survey of business confidence meanwhile showed a two index point increase to plus 16 points in October.

The NAB said the study also showed a sharp acceleration in actual business outcomes.

"While confidence has surged in recent times, business conditions had remained significantly below long term averages. Now that has now changed,” said a company spokesperson. "After the surge from early 2009 the ongoing strength of confidence is remarkable.”

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