Published 26 October, 2021
Sydney residents responded strongly to the easing of movement restrictions in the state, increasing their spending dramatically compared to the pre-lockdown period, ANZ data show.
And it’s an encouraging sign for what is to come elsewhere in the country as COVID-19 related lockdowns ease, according to ANZ Senior Economist Adelaide Timbrell.
“We expect the data to show a similar pattern in the first days of Melbourne’s reopening,” she said. “Although Melbourne’s reopening will be more gradual due to different reopening dates for hospitality and retail.”
Spending in metropolitan Sydney suburbs, excluding the CBD, rose 5 per cent in the week of October 11, the data show, compared to the last week pre-lockdown of June 7.
The jump was particularly clear in shopping spending, which rose 18 per cent in the period. You can see more in the visualisation below.
Timbrell told ANZ Institutional that while positive, activity in the Sydney CBD did not return to the black during so-called ‘freedom week’, with ANZ data showing City of Sydney spending still 15 per cent lower than before lockdown.
“With less inner city events and many residents still working from home – and potentially doing this permanently, at least part time – household spending seems to have “spread out” from the Sydney CBD since the most recent lockdown,” she said.
“This was the case for discretionary retail spending, where strong spending on clothing and large home items were more likely to occur in the suburbs, as well as dining.”
In regional New South Wales, overall spending was still 4 per cent lower compared to the last full week before lockdown, although shopping spending rose 9 per cent.
“Clothing, jewellery and department-store spending, as well as home-related items, including homeware and furniture, were behind the strong increase in shopping spending across NSW,” Timbrell said.
How the rerun of various lockdown-impacted services and entertainment businesses plays out in the retail data will be interesting to monitor over the coming weeks, she said.
“Dining is not back to its pre-lockdown level yet, but very strong restaurant booking data suggests dining spending in Sydney will increase in the coming weeks,” Timbrell said.
Mark Monaghan, Senior Advisor Institutional & Corporate Relationships at ANZ, said as areas impacted by movement restrictions reopen toward the end of 2021, ANZ data can provide unique and powerful insight for customers to take advantage of.
“We work closely with ANZ customers in the retail space and elsewhere to ensure they have the information they need to really leverage the opportunities the reopening of our cities present,” he said.
“At ANZ, our data offer us market-leading insight that helps our customers make critical decisions for their future.”
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