Melbourne gets the virus but it’s Brisbane that has the blues about it

Victorians could be forgiven for getting down about the latest COVID-19 lockdown after going through four months of the stay-at-home orders last year, but Brisbane was the place where confidence fell most sharply.

Jun 01, 2021, updated Jun 01, 2021
Melbourne has been shut down by the COVID outbreak but Sydney and Brisbane seem more concerned (AAP Image/Stefan Postles)

Melbourne has been shut down by the COVID outbreak but Sydney and Brisbane seem more concerned (AAP Image/Stefan Postles)

According to the ANZ Roy Morgan survey, consumer confidence nationally declined 2.5 per cent last week, as a seven-day COVID lockdown was announced in Victoria on May 27.

“Counterintuitively, confidence was down by more in Sydney and Brisbane than it was in Melbourne,’’ ANZ said.

In Brisbane it fell 4.7 per cent and 3.8 per cent in Melbourne. Sydney was down 4.5 per cent.

Overall, business appears to be getting a little gloomy and the ANZ said all of the confidence subindices of the survey fell.

The mood about current financial conditions fell by 3 per cent, while the outlook for future financial conditions was down 2.4 per cent.

The current economic conditions index fell 0.5 and the future economic conditions data dropped 4 per cent.

Significantly, the indices based on whether it was time to buy a major household item weakened 2.6 per cent.

Inflation expectations increased slightly.

“The announcement of a seven-day lockdown in Victoria in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted consumer confidence around the country,’’ ANZ said.

But it said the survey data showed that short lockdowns don’t have a lasting impact on consumer sentiment.

Victoria’s experience of lockdowns in 2020 had also failed to drive a wedge between sentiment in that state and the rest of the country.

“This offers the prospect that even an extension of the current lockdown may not have too dramatic an impact on consumer sentiment,’’ the bank said.

“Of course, the absence of JobKeeper for this episode means we need to alert to worse results than the experience to date.’’

Recent data from the Australian bureau of statistics showed that most Australian businesses reported stable trading conditions in May, with more than three quarters (78 per cent) experiencing either no change or an increase in revenue.

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