Consumer sentiment jumped by 11.9% to 105.0 in October 2020, representing the first time in positive territory since June 2019 and a level of confidence not reached since July 2018. Sentiment has risen across each of the states, with significant increases in NSW (17.5%) and Victoria (13.7%). The most recent ABS retail sales data is for August 2020 and showed a 4.0% contraction, the first decline in traditional retail sales since the beginning of lockdowns in April. Looking back this result could have been expected given consumer confidence fell by 9.5% during August on the back of a 6.1% fall in July and stood at 79.5, the lowest point since April 2020. A reduction was seen in each of the sales categories, driven by a significant decline of sales in Victoria (12.6%) due to its restrictions. Online retail sales increased modestly by 4.2% in August 2020 driven by a 13.4% increase in Victoria.
Source: Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Online retail sales