Published August 24, 2021
Spending in inner Adelaide has declined from pre-pandemic levels, according to ANZ data, despite the fact South Australia has avoided the extended lockdowns seen in Australia’s largest states.
And it’s a trend which may continue, according to ANZ Senior Economist Adelaide Timbrell.
Spending in the first two weeks of July fell 7 per cent compared to 2019 level in inner Adelaide, the data show. Outer suburbs and regional SA spending rose 9.2 per cent in the same period. You can see more in the visualisation below.
Timbrell told ANZ Institutional the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the popularity of remote working, leading to a drop in office occupancy across all capital cities.
“Even in Adelaide, where fewer snap lockdowns have occurred [compared to larger Australian states], the popularity of work-from-home for many residents has kept office occupancy at 80 per cent of pre-COVID average, according to PCA office occupancy survey,” she said.
When fewer people travel to the city, household spending moves to the suburbs, Timbrell said.
“We expect this trend to continue, as survey data from the ABS show working from home is one of the most-popular elements of the pandemic that households want to continue past COVID restrictions,” she said.
Timbrell said the decline in visitors to Adelaide since the pandemic began has also impacted the inner-city spending decline.
“While Sydney and Melbourne have borne the brunt of closed international borders and declines in business travel, this also reduces the foot traffic and spending in smaller capital cities,” she said.
South Australia entered a seven-day lockdown on July 21, in response to an outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the state.
Lockdowns across key Australian states and territories – including ongoing extensions in both Victoria and New South Wales - have caused havoc in the retail sectors throughout 2021.
Jane Yuile, ANZ Institutional Senior Advisor & State Chair, South Australia, said the bank has worked closely with ANZ customers in the retail space through the COVID-19 crisis.
“At ANZ, our data offer us market-leading insight into the impact the pandemic has had on spending right across the economy,” she said.
“We use this analysis to help our customers, in South Australia and elsewhere, make critical decisions for their future – and data will continue to play a key role in those conversations in a post-COVID world.”
This publication is published by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522 (“ANZBGL”) in Australia. This publication is intended as thought-leadership material. It is not published with the intention of providing any direct or indirect recommendations relating to any financial product, asset class or trading strategy. The information in this publication is not intended to influence any person to make a decision in relation to a financial product or class of financial products. It is general in nature and does not take account of the circumstances of any individual or class of individuals. Nothing in this publication constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by ANZBGL or its branches or subsidiaries (collectively “ANZ”) to you to acquire a product or service, or an offer by ANZ to provide you with other products or services. All information contained in this publication is based on information available at the time of publication. While this publication has been prepared in good faith, no representation, warranty, assurance or undertaking is or will be made, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by ANZ in relation to the accuracy or completeness of this publication or the use of information contained in this publication. ANZ does not provide any financial, investment, legal or taxation advice in connection with this publication.