Consumers snap shut wallets as confidence lowest in 30 years

The Omicron variant has knocked the confidence out of Australian consumers, according to a Roy Morgan-ANZ report.

Jan 18, 2022, updated Jan 18, 2022
Shoppers spent less in the lead-up to Christmas and more at Black Friday sales (file image)

Shoppers spent less in the lead-up to Christmas and more at Black Friday sales (file image)

It found consumer confidence dropped 7.6 per cent last week and was below the neutral level for all states and lower than during the Delta variant surge, according to ANZ’s head of economics David Plank.

“Consumer confidence readings are usually positive during the month of January and the level of 97.9 is the weakest result since 1992 when the Australian economy was experiencing sharply rising unemployment (10 per cent)” Plank said.

“We don’t think the economy is as weak as this data might suggest, with the shockwave of the Omicron surge and the strains on testing capability the key drivers of the fall rather than underlying conditions.

“But the result highlights that concerns about Covid have the potential to significantly impact the economy is they linger.”

In bad news for retailers, the survey found an 11.3 per cent drop in the “time to buy a major household item” question, the lowest level since August 2020. All of the subindices dropped.

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ANZ said spending on dining had taken a big hit and 10 per cent of the usual spending had moved online.




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