MELBOURNE: The turmoil in the world's financial markets is making itself felt Down Under. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index fell 5.5% this month to 97.4.

This follows an 8.3% drop last month and has left the index 12.6% lower than in February last year and 15.5% below its 2007 average.

A gloomy Westpac chief economist, Bill Evans, declares "pessimists now outnumber optimists".

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff