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INSIGHT


How snap lockdowns hit spending

Snap lockdowns seen across two Australian states in the first quarter of calendar 2021 had a significant impact on consumer spending, according to exclusive ANZ data, in a sign of the ongoing economic risks from the pandemic even as the world moves into recovery mode.

ANZ data show an interesting interplay between supermarket, fast-food and restaurant spending across Queensland in the immediate the wake of the March 29 lockdown, which came after the city recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases.

While fast-food purchasing remained relatively flat, restaurant spend slumped 16 per cent as venues across Brisbane closed their doors. Additionally, supermarket spending spiked by 40 per cent - presumably as more ate at home and stockpiled amid pandemic-related uncertainty.

Such indicators were not unexpected, with a similar impact in spending seen in broader Victorian data after a comparable lockdown earlier in the first quarter. Consumer spending dropped suddenly and significantly in that state before recovering to trend.

Exclusive ANZ data show Victoria’s snap lockdown in mid-February – put in place after a spike of COVID-19 cases in state capital Melbourne – led to an 18.2 per cent fall in consumer spending, compared to the same period in 2020.

The drop was particularly pronounced in clothing spending, which fell an astonishing 58.6 per cent, year on year, before it too returned to trend.

ANZ’s deaggregated data can provide valuable insights for businesses in the retail sector and elsewhere as the recovery from COVID-19 continues, Anurag Soin, Director, Data Science, ANZ Institutional, said.

“At ANZ, we work closely with our customers to share industry-leading insights based on our work with data,” he said. “This information can be critical in helping them prepare for and respond to the ongoing risks of the pandemic.”

“We’ll continue to use our insights to assist our customers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues – and beyond.”

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