SYDNEY, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australian consumer confidence rose slightly in January after a fall of 4.1 percent in the previous month, a survey released on Wednesday by Westpac Banking Corp and the Melbourne Institute showed.
The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 0.6 percent to 100.6 points in January, from 100.0 in December.
A reading above 100 indicates optimists outnumber pessimists among respondents.
Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said it was the third consecutive month that the index has been at or above 100 level.
However, Evans said the result was still disappointing given the string of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia over the past year.
He said other factors which would normally have been expected to impact confidence had little effect.
"News generally from offshore has been positive with sentiment towards China's growth prospects being particularly buoyant," he said in a statement.
"Finally there was encouraging news on the employment front with the unemployment rate being reported to have fallen from 5.4 percent to 5.2 percent."
Evans said these positive news events had failed to move the consumers.
The survey showed the sub-index measuring family finances compared with a year ago fell 8.6 percent in January, while the index measuring family finances over the next 12 months fell 1.2 percent.