Australians are planning a’ normal ‘Christmas, with the consumer confidence index at its highest in seven years
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Survey rose 25 percent in November, the third consecutive monthly rise
The survey, which gauges how people feel about their finances, as well as the wider economy, is now 13 percent higher than it was in the six months preceding the outbreak in March.
The Victorians saw the biggest improvement in confidence, with sentiment in the state up 9 percent, as coronavirus restrictions eased, as well as more interest rate cuts and personal tax cuts
The poll was conducted between November 2 and 6 when the Reserve Bank lowered the official cash rate to 01 percent and announced that it would buy more federal government bonds to help the economic recovery
Eleven percent of those surveyed found that they expected to spend more this year than in previous years, while 323 percent were expecting less spending, which was within the range of responses seen over the past five years.
“Given the high level of uncertainty this Christmas, and the headwinds from the high unemployment rate, this is a very encouraging sign that Australians are planning a regular birthday,” said chief economist at Westpac Bill Evans
“We might not give gifts this year, if we did, it would probably be a little thing Certainly not like 100 dollars per person, ”
“I think everyone (in my family) is kind of on the same page and everyone knows very well that this might be the best idea of the year”
Ms Payne lost her retail job in March when nationwide lockdowns began and with Melbourne’s fourth stage closed, she spent several months this year without that income
“In the first phase of JobKeeper, the company that runs the center I work in, they were eligible for JobKeeper, so I was at it,”
“But when these eligibility requirements were revised, the company was no longer eligible, so I couldn’t get JobKeeper, so that was very difficult”
Mrs. Payne managed to make a little money with yoga lessons streamed directly from her living room
She told ABC News: « Getting that little income from teaching yoga, and owning the JobKeeper program earlier in the year, was fine. »
But she said that the last few months have been harder and that Mrs. Payne and her fiancé have been watching their spending.
“For example, we have been picking and choosing what to get for fast food this week, if any,” she said.
Her fiancé, who was in the hospitality industry while completing his final year of school, lost his part-time job in March, and only last week started a new role after graduating from the course
« There is still another month until the payroll starts appearing, so we’re still sticking to our budget for now »
This year’s Christmas for Mrs. Pine will be less money spent and more time spent with her family
“I haven’t seen my family since last Christmas, so I think it will be more like reuniting and sharing a meal together and playing some tricky board games – just having fun with family time”
However, one thing Ms. Pine has done recently is round-trip tickets to Sydney, and he bought one on the day the opening of the Victorian and New South Wales borders was revealed.
“I’m glad I did because the prices for those products went up, so I think I messed up a little bit there,” she said.
While Mrs. Payne won’t be sending in a lot of money this Christmas because the COVID-19 pandemic has hit her finances, she says there is a positive side
“It definitely made me appreciate my family a lot, the technology is amazing, FaceTime is great, but I just want to put my mom in trouble”
“Our approach this Christmas will focus on how to help others,” said mother Julie Nguyen.
“We will spend a little less than we usually do because we want to give more to others who are less fortunate than us.”
Nine-year-old Siena asked her mother to purchase a gift to put under the giving tree at her school for families affected by drought.
Although they might not buy as many gifts for themselves, the Nguyen family will eat out a little more
“We still want to take them out to give back to the economy because some companies are doing it so hard,” Father Stephen Nguyen told ABC News
The family is also looking forward to a small vacation in Canberra after his son CJ’s school trip was canceled due to the pandemic.
Mr. Nguyen said, « Big holidays at present are not on the cards, but a short vacation in Australia would be great. »
While the Nguyens will be taken more into account in their Christmas spending this year, the 11-year-old CJ hopes his trampoline wish-list item continues to be a hit
As with every year, retailers hope consumers will open their wallets during the traditionally busy Christmas period
The latest reading from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that despite lower spending last month, retail trade in the September quarter rose 65 per cent after declining in the June quarter.
Supermarket sales have been particularly volatile this year, dropping 149 percent in April ahead of the 444 percent meteoric rise in May
Stephanie Trevor, David Jones’s Sydney CBD Regional Manager, hopes Christmas will encourage Christmas and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in Australia for shoppers to go out
“I think it’s a really busy time of the year where everyone goes out to experience retail at its best,”
“I think we really learned to appreciate those things that we took for granted, so I think everyone is really eager to go out and enjoy some normal things”
Ms. Trevor said shoppers were feeling better about their circumstances than they had been earlier in the year.
« Everyone wants some normality, but it’s also something full of joy and I think they’re looking forward to going out on Christmas »
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Consumer Confidence, Finance, and Consumer Index
World News – Australia – Australians are likely to spend the Christmas holidays with consumer confidence at its highest in seven years
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