CANBERRA, AAP – New figures will show how retailers are faring with consumer confidence having taken a bit of a hit from the fallout of the recent 14-day lockdown in Victoria.
Consumer spending is expected to be a main plank of Australia’s continued economic expansion, aided by low interest rates, the wealth effect of rising house prices, a strong labour market, and a surge in household savings.
Retail spending did rise by a solid 1.1 per cent in April as shoppers made up for lost time following a series of snap COVID-19 lockdowns among states earlier in the year.
Economists expect the Australian Bureau of Statistics preliminary retail trade data for May on Monday will show a rise of around 0.5 per cent.
However, given some uncertainty over what impact the Melbourne lockdown will have on the national retail figures, forecasts range from a 1.5 per cent rise to a 0.5 per cent fall.
The latest virus outbreak in Sydney’s eastern suburbs could take its toll on confidence going forward, a pointer to future household spending.
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index is due on Tuesday.
However, last week’s exceptionally strong labour market figures, which saw the jobless rate drop to 5.1 per cent in May and back to its pre-pandemic level should provide some underlying support for sentiment.