The consumer sentiment index continued its recent run of strong growth with a 2.5% increase to 107.7 in November 2020. The index has grown by 35.5% since August and is now at its highest level since November 2013. Unsurprisingly, confidence rose most significantly in Victoria (9%) following its stabilisation of COVID cases and the easing of social and border restrictions. NSW experienced a fall of 5.5% following its significant jump last month (17.5%). The most recent ABS retail sales data was released for September 2020 and showed a 1.1% reduction in traditional sales despite a significant bounce back in consumer confidence during that month. Examination of the individual categories shows positive growth in the cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services category (3.5%) however this was offset by declines in the household goods retailing (3.6%) and food retailing categories (1.5%). Geographically, only the Northern Territory experienced an increase in sales in September. Online retail sales experienced a slight increase of 0.9% in September 2020 continuing its recent run of growth since May. Online sales in the twelve months to September represented 12% of total retail sales during that period and were approximately 39% higher than the same period in 2019.
Source: Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Online retail sales