The Western Australia economy will take a $2 billion consumer spending hit from the coronavirus, the state’s peak business group says.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has called on consumers to support local businesses, while still adhering to the health guidelines.
Economists modelled the five-month impact based on data from its quarterly Consumer Confidence Survey and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The survey asked consumers what impact the coronavirus could have on their habits and revealed a cut to discretionary spending.
Discretionary spending includes cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, clothing, household equipment, transport services, recreation, hotels, cafes and restaurants and other goods and services.
But chief economist Aaron Morey said the consumers, had some power to help local businesses.
“WA households have signalled a big loss of confidence,” Mr Morey said.
“It’s vital that governments help businesses to adapt their business models to the new world of social distancing.
“Government regulation cannot get in the way.”