Victoria Shutdown Sinks Consumer Confidence Further

By AAP
August 10, 2020 Updated: August 11, 2020

Consumer confidence has sunk for a seventh straight week as Melbourne’s harsh COVID-19 lockdowns sour the mood of the nation.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence index—a pointer to future retail spending—dropped 2.4 percent to its lowest level since late April.

“Not surprisingly, confidence is weakest in Melbourne,” ANZ economist David Plank said on Aug. 11.

The downturn in confidence is longer than the six weeks of continuous decline during the first wave in February and March.

However, the descent is less severe than earlier in the year.

Views on current economic conditions plunged 8.2 percent, but sentiment towards people’s own financial conditions held up reasonably well.

“It is still low in absolute terms and speaks to a likely reluctance on the part of households to spend,” Plank said

National Australia Bank will release its monthly business survey on Tuesday.

Recent data has shown while industries like manufacturing and services remain in decline, the pace of contraction has eased.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will also release its weekly payrolls data – a special series introduced to give a more frequent reading on the economic impact of coronavirus.

The monthly labour force report is due on Thursday, which economists expect will show the jobless rate rising to a 22-year high of 7.8 percent in July, compared with 7.4 percent in June.

Colin Brinsden in Canberra