Spending in New South Wales has slumped as the state battles its latest COVID-19 outbreak, with particular pain seen in the greater Sydney region, especially in select local government areas (LGAs) subject to strict lockdown orders.
ANZ data show average daily spending in the first half of August fell 37 per cent within LGAs subject to strict lockdown measures, when compared to pre-lockdown June. Spending in the rest of Sydney fell just 25 per cent in that time, and 26 per cent in the rest of NSW.
The decline follows full month-on-month falls in July of 31 per cent in locked-down LGAs, 21 per cent elsewhere in Sydney, and 19 per cent in the rest of NSW.
ANZ Senior Economist Adelaide Timbrell said spending in different parts of Sydney has been quite mixed, with stricter movement restrictions in the targeted LGAs resulting in a bigger spending impact.
“Spending in the first half of August has been lower in all but one LGA in Sydney when compared with June,” she said.
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Spending in wealthy suburbs has been notably impacted, Timbrell said. ANZ-observed data show average daily spending for the first 15 days of August was around half of June in Sydney’s Waverley, Randwick and Bayside LGAs.
“Wealthier-suburb spending is impacted more by lockdowns because restaurant and shopping spending tends to have a higher baseline when residents have access to more spending money,” she said.
“While spending in the city has been hurt more by the longer-term impacts of the pandemic (with more people working from home instead of the city), suburbs have been hurt more by the shorter-term lockdown impacts, as people stay at home instead of spending in their local residential areas.”
Lockdowns across key Australian states and territories – including ongoing extensions in both Victoria and New South Wales - have caused havoc in the retail sector throughout 2021.
ANZ data show spending was falling in the initial weeks of Sydney’s lockdown, even before restrictions were tightened further. Spending in Melbourne was slowly returning before the latest round of lockdowns put an end to that recovery.
Anurag Soin, Director, Data Science, ANZ Institutional, said ANZ spending data provides its clients with critical insights at a time when businesses need it most.
“ANZ works closely with our customers to ensure they have access to the data they need to help them manage the uncertainties of the pandemic,” he said.
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