Consumer confidence has increased to 101.1 as of August 18th, after a slight decrease in the week preceding. It is still sitting well below 2021’s weekly average of 109.6 but remains 12.5 points higher than the same week in 2020.
When looking at individual states’ data, consumer confidence in NSW is the lowest in the country, sitting in negative territory below the neutral level of 100. Victoria is in the second lowest position, while the end of lockdown in Queensland has increased State Consumer Confidence significantly – it now has the highest consumer confidence of all states.
David Plank, ANZ Head of Australian Economics, has said "… Consumer confidence rose 2.5% last week, rising back above the neutral level of 100.This recovery was driven by a 7.5% increase in confidence in Queensland as the lockdown in its south-east ended. Sentiment also rose by 7.1% in Sydney, reflecting resilience even as daily COVID-19 cases are still rising in the city. Despite the current resilience in sentiment, the persistence of the highly infectious Delta variant means there is significant uncertainty about how things will evolve over the next few weeks. The jump in weekly inflation expectations is notable and something that may trouble policy makers if it continues to rise sharply."
While consumer confidence is still sitting below average, there has been a significant increase from last week. Consumers are becoming more confident about their personal financial situations and are looking to the future, despite just 12% of Australians expecting that the Australian economy will face “good times” over the next twelve months.
However, one positive element of consumer spending is strong demand for new vehicles, which increased 16% in July. High prices are driving earnings for locally listed automotive companies, with new car prices increasing 7.4% in the last year.
“While lockdowns and supply constraints weighed on sales growth momentum, insatiable consumer demand for new sports utility vehicles and utes continue to support dealerships,” CommSec’s Ryan Felsman said.
Consumers are buying less than ever in light of the lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney, with spending falling last week to its lowest level since April 2020, according to ANZ card data.
ANZ economist Adelaide Timbrell said, “The last time weekly spending was this low was the week before JobKeeper and the JobSeeker supplement started being paid.”
With lockdowns in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide costing $300m per day and the increase in spending on household goods seen at the start of 2020 not being replicated this time around, it doesn’t bode well for the future – economists are forecasting an economic contraction in the near future.
That being said, spending on food and alcohol remains steady, and despite big drops in spending nationwide, CBA senior economist Belinda Allen is confident that spending will bounce back: “Previous lockdowns have demonstrated that spending can rebound strongly once restrictions are lifted.”
Seven has continued its Olympics domination, with the Voice helping to grow the network by 22% with P25-54. Nine has also experienced YoY growth, with a 1% increase. Ten and SBS, however, haven’t fared so well, with Ten’s SOV decreasing by 4% and SBS’s by 21%.
Over the weekend News was the top performing genre, with Seven News taking the top spot on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. This can likely be attributed to the lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney.
Nine’s The Block and Seven’s The Voice battled it out for best performing reality show on Sunday night, but The Voice had a resounding win, reaching 1.23m metro viewers vs the Block’s 757k.
Thanks to a post-Olympics surge of love and the success of The Voice, Seven’s station share continued to dominate, with 30.38%. Nine came in second, with 26.79%, followed by ABC at 21.96%. Ten trailed behind, with a station share of 14.70%.
In the week up to the 17th of August, 1,273.8 million minutes of BVOD content was consumed, reaching 7.1 million people nationally.
Once again, reality TV was the top performing genre, with eight of the top ten programs falling within this category. The Voice appears twice, Love Island four times, and the Bachelor and the Block once each. The top ten is rounded out by Brooklyn 99 and Home and Away.
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