Consumer confidence has been materially impacted by concerns around the growing impact of COVID-19, with the index reducing 3.8% in March 2020 to a five year low (second lowest level since the GFC). This is on the back of an already challenging December and January sales environment in which traditional retail sales contracted by 0.3% in January 2020 (noting the December 2019 contraction was revised downwards by a further 0.2% to 0.7%) and online sales growth slowed for the second straight month to 0.5% in the month, meaning conditions are likely to remain challenging for retailers for the foreseeable future.
Source: Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Online retail sales