WA leads nation in COVID-19 recovery spending

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West Australians are dining, driving and beautifying themselves more than any other State and are leading the recovery spend across the country as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

A new report released by ANZ today showed spending in WA had grown more year-on-year in early June and May than other States.

It also showed WA outperforming other States in terms of total spending, dining and takeaway spending, and was stronger than most States for movement-related spending, such as accommodation, car hire and petrol stations.

ANZ economist Adelaide Timbrell said total spending levels in WA were now more in normal territory than it was during March and April.

“WA is less reliant on tourism for its dining spending than other States, which means international and interstate border closures affect total dining spending less,” she said.

“This, combined with fewer lockdown restrictions in WA, allows dining spending to get closer to a ‘normal’ level of spend than other States.”

The report comes as the latest consumer confidence data showed consumer sentiment had staged a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

The survey showed the Melbourne Institute and Westpac Index of consumer sentiment climbed 6.3 per cent in June, from May when it jumped a record 16.4 per cent.

The rise took the index back to where it was at the start of the year, though it remained 7 per cent lower than June 2019. The index reading of 93.7 also meant pessimists still outnumbered optimists.

“Remarkably, consumer confidence is now back around pre-COVID levels, having recovered all of the extreme 20 per cent drop seen when the pandemic exploded in March-April,” Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said.

“Confidence has clearly been buoyed by Australia’s continued success in bringing the coronavirus under control, which has in turn allowed for a further easing in social restrictions over the last month.”