Despite falling 1.6% this week, consumer confidence is still sitting above the weekly average and 27.4% higher than the same week a year ago, when the effect of Covid was becoming a distinct reality.

The decline was driven by large falls in Perth along with slides in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, according to the latest ANZ-Roy Morgan data. The declines were centred on the indices that looked at the next 12 months and next five years, which were all slightly down.

The ‘time to buy a major household item’ index was unchanged.

Not surprisingly sentiment in Perth fell the most (8.2%), following the sudden three-day lockdown, but Brisbane (4.9%), Sydney (3.6%) and Melbourne (4.4%) were also impacted. Both the ‘current’ and ‘future economic conditions’ also took a hit following a rise in the past two weeks, ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank said.

“This fall is possibly due to the uncertainty surrounding the new strains of the virus. However, we know from previous experience that a quick resolution of the lockdown will see sentiment and spending rebound very quickly,” he said.