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Consumers Looking To Spend More Despite COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic is still weighing on Australian consumers’ minds and the economy – but in good news for retailers, more consumers are looking to buy household items, according to new Roy Morgan research.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence report found consumer confidence dropped by 0.1 per cent to 108.9 over the New Year period, after hitting 13-month highs in mid-December; this is, however, still much higher than the near-50-year record low of 65.3 in March 2020.

Ryan Felsman, senior economist at CommSec, noted that while confidence was flat, spending intentions were up; this could indicate optimism about the upcoming fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccines. CommSec’s analysis also found that Commonwealth Bank credit card spending jumped 13.1 per cent over the week to January 8, compared to a year ago.

“Despite the downbeat start to 2021, households are showing increased appetite for making a major household purchase.

“In fact, the ANZ-Roy Morgan sub-index measure of whether it was a ‘good time to buy a major household item’ rose by 3.3 per cent to 20.1 points last week – the highest level in 11 months,” he said.

David Plank, ANZ Head of Australian Economics, said that as confidence usually rises over the holiday period, the Roy Morgan survey result should be viewed as soft.

“Interestingly, notwithstanding the short lockdown, confidence in Brisbane and rest of Queensland was up on the pre-Christmas week. On the other hand, confidence in New South Wales and Victoria declined, as borders closed,” he said.

The poll surveyed 1529 Australians over the week ending January 9/10.

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