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  • Bridget Schmidt

THE WEEK THAT WAS - W/C 23rd AUGUST 2021

Updated: May 24, 2022

Consumer Confidence


Consumer Confidence increased by 0.5pts to 101.6 this week. It is still well-below the 2021 weekly average of 109.4 but is 8.9 points higher than the same week in 2020.


Looking at State Consumer Confidence, it is the lowest in Victoria and New South Wales, with both states sitting just below the neutral level of 100. In Queensland, it is currently just above 100, while it is significantly higher unsurprisingly in both Western Australia and South Australia at over 110.


David Plank, ANZ Head of Australian Economics, has said "… Consumer confidence rose 0.5% last week amidst rising cases and fresh lockdowns in Victoria and the ACT and an extension of the one in Sydney. The overall figure was due to rises of 8.0% in SA, 11.4% in WA and 1.7% in Brisbane. The news about the strength of the labour market in July with, unemployment rate dropping to 4.6%, might have added to the positive outlook.


"Confidence in Victoria and NSW remained at the lowest level among the states, falling 2.9% and 1.9% respectively. But even with this drop, sentiment in these two states remains well above the lows of last year. This supports our expectation that household spending will likely rebound sharply in lockdown areas when restrictions ease."


While consumer confidence is still sitting below the 2021 average, there has been an increase from last week. Consumers are becoming more confident about their personal financial situations compared to a year ago. Now 29% (up 4ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year and 26% (down 3ppts), say their families are ‘worse off’ financially.


Source: Roy-Morgan-Consumer-Confidence-Weekly-August-24

Consumer Spending


The lockdowns across Australia continue to impact the way Australians are spending - and their intentions to spend. This is the first time that YoY spending has declined since the pandemic started. The only category that has not seen a decline is Health & Fitness, which is due to increased spending on doctors, nursing, and personal care.


Spending intentions for categories such as Real Estate, Retail and Entertainment remain higher than July 2019 (last ‘normal’ year). Other categories such as Travel, Education and Motor Vehicles are, for the first time, down in comparison to 2019.


CBA Chief Economist, Stephen Halmarick, recently said that the lockdowns in many states - especially the extended lockdown in Greater Sydney - had affected most areas of spending.


“Australia’s economic recovery from last year’s COVID restrictions was impressive, as reflected by the sectors of the economy covered by the HSI series. However, this changed in July and, unfortunately, the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has seen a combination of rolling lockdowns used across much of Australia including an extended lockdown in Greater Sydney”.


“More recent CBA credit and debit card spending data shows the ongoing impact of lockdowns, with national spending to 13 August flat relative to 2020 and up just 4 per cent against the same week in 2019. This supports our view that the Australian economy will contract by 2.7 per cent/qtr in Q3 21 and a revision of our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 3.6 per cent from 5 per cent.”


TV Update


Seven has continued its domination this week, with The Voice continuing to help the network grow across all demos with 29.24% total share, followed by Nine with 26.21% network share.


Similar to last week, unsurprisingly the news was the top performing genre over the weekend, with Seven News taking the top spot on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night against Total People with all nights drawing over 1m.


The Sunday Night reality TV show battle continues with Nine’s The Block and Seven’s The Voice. However, The Voice continues to win the battle against Total People with 1.2m and 433k P25-54, whereas The Block reached 779k Total People and 385K P25-54.


The Paralympics kicked off on the 24th August (Tuesday) where it broke its previous record of Beijing in 2008. The opening ceremony drew in 643k metro viewers to beat both The Block and Survivor.

BVOD Audiences


In the week up to the 24th of August, 1,279.2 million minutes of BVOD content was consumed, reaching 6.9 million people nationally.


Once again, reality TV was the top performing genre, with six of the top ten programs falling within this category. The Voice appeared twice, Love Island five times, and The Block once. The top ten is rounded out by Brooklyn 99 and Home and Away.


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