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  • Celia Wright


Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Consumer Confidence

The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence survey released August 11th shows that whilst confidence is the lowest in 11 months, with a score of 104.1 most people are feeling optimistic (100 points is the dividing line between optimists and pessimists).

Westpac Senior Economist, Matthew Hassan, elaborated on this further: “This is a significant further loss of confidence but better than might have been expected given virus developments.”

Most of NSW remains in an extended lockdown that is showing few signs of ending any time soon. Meanwhile, Victoria and Queensland both imposed new snap lockdowns during the August survey week. Despite the deteriorating situation, sentiment has remained in positive territory, even in parts of the country facing the biggest virus challenges. The vaccine is helping maintain confidence, with sentiment stronger among people who were vaccinated or planned to be. The biggest sentiment decline was amongst ‘paraprofessionals and tradies’ (-15.2%) for whom pressures on health and education systems, disruptions to building sites and the tougher restrictions in place for parts of Sydney have all played a role. The eight local government areas of concern in Sydney’s South and West facing the tightest lock-down restrictions account for over 40% of the city’s tradies.

Interestingly, confidence remains higher than the 12-month period prior to the pandemic.

The release of ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence also shows a drop this week by 3.2pts to 98.6. Based on this data, the country is more pessimistic than optimistic and is well below the 2021 weekly average of 109.9. It does remain 12.1 points higher than the same week a year ago, August 8/9, 2020 (86.5). Source: Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index 11th August; ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence 10th August

Mobility Data

The lockdowns within Greater Sydney and Greater Melbourne have significantly impacted mobility. The average movement level in the Sydney CBD was at only 10% of pre-pandemic levels in early August and well below other cities. Greater Sydney has now entered its seventh week of lockdown since the city was first locked down on Saturday June 26.

The City of Melbourne was still recovering from its fifth lockdown in late July with average movement levels in the Melbourne CBD at only 20% of pre-pandemic levels in early August.. Adelaide CBD was at 40% of pre-pandemic averages in early August, up by 25% points from a low of 15% in late July. The entire State of South Australia was locked down from July 21-27 to deal with the State’s first outbreak of COVID-19 so far this year – movement has quickly rebounded.

Perth CBD is Australia’s most ‘COVID-normal’ city with average movement levels at 55% of pre-pandemic averages in early August. This is the highest they’ve been since early June and the first time Perth has sat atop the rankings since late January when the city entered its second lockdown.

Hobart CBD has movement levels at 47% of pre-pandemic averages and the Brisbane CBD is at 46% of pre-pandemic averages before last week’s short lockdown. These results do not include the impact of the most recent lockdowns in Victoria or SE Queensland.

Source: Roy Morgan collaboration with UberMedia 10th August

TV Update

A combination of the favourable time zone, lockdown conditions and Australian medal success meant that the second week of Olympic coverage generated a huge surge in audiences for Seven, at +198%. Although other networks' audiences declined (Nine -19%, Ten -9% and SBS -43%), the net impact of the Olympics was to grow TV viewership by 52% year-on-year.

Regional TV also saw growth for Seven Affiliates (+89%), with declines in other networks on par with metro audiences.

Seven has maintained audience momentum for The Voice, with every episode in its debut week reaching over 1 million people. They also returned with the highly anticipated Farmer Wants a Wife reunion special, which brought in 828,000 viewers.

Nine’s Today show was able to draw in 270,000 viewers on Wednesday 11th. This was the Today show’s best viewership number in over 16 months. There were only 4,000 viewers split between Today and Sunrise.

Source: PMX; Spark Foundry Analysis

BVOD Audiences

Total BVOD minutes were up 50% year-on-year but dropped 3% week-on-week as Olympic viewing plateaued following the conclusion of the swimming schedule. Australians watched 1,283.2 million minutes of BVOD content over the seven days to 12th August, reaching a total of 7.4 million people.

The Voice has launched strongly into this week’s numbers, with their first three episodes making the top 10 programs. Like last week, Love Island UK continues to resonate with Australian viewers – five of the top 10 programs are from Season 7. The Bachelor Season 9 episode 6 more than doubled the audience from its previous episode, taking out the number 1 spot in BVOD this week with an audience of 211,000.


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