It’s news you probably did not want to hear, but it must come as no surprise to read that consumer confidence plunged last week by a massive 27.8%. And taking the biggest fall was household purchase intentions which dropped 37.2%.

It brought the ANZ- Roy Morgan index to just above the all-time lows recorded in 1990 and 17% below the lowest point seen during the global financial crisis in October 2008.

ANZ head of Australian Economics, David Plank said the increasingly negative news about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia has had a dramatic impact on consumer sentiment, with confidence showing its biggest fall since the survey moved to a weekly basis in 2008.

“Consumer confidence has been lower than this level, but only just and only during the 1990-91 recession. The plunge was broad-based, with all sub-components of sentiment well below average and well below the levels seen during the GFC and only the levels seen during the 1990-91 recession are comparable,” he said.

According to Plank the coronavirus necessitated a change in the survey methodology, away from face-to-face to phone and online interviews. “It is possible that this impacted the results, though the consistency of the responses suggests this is unlikely.”

All the sub-components of the survey fell, current financial conditions by 23.9% and future financial conditions down 25.8%. Economic conditions sub-indices were also down sharply, with current economic conditions falling 37.1% and future economic conditions declining 19.1%.