Positive signs for spending when restrictions ease

Australians who had reduced spending on items including eating out and recreational activities due to COVID-19 are expecting this to increase when restrictions ease, according to latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

However, the sixth Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey found that people who had spent less on items including household furnishings, clothing and footwear expected this to remain at lower levels.

ABS head of Household Surveys, Michelle Marquardt, said: “This survey showed us a mixed picture of what Australians plan to spend their money on once restrictions ease.

“Many Australians reported decreased spending on eating out (87 per cent), child care fees (85 per cent), recreation or leisure (79 per cent), public transport (73 per cent) and personal care (64 per cent).

“Of these people, a majority expected to increase their spending on recreational activities (74 per cent), eating out (74 per cent), private transport (73 per cent), personal care (70 per cent), childcare (66 per cent) and public transport (55 per cent).

“On the other hand, the majority of Australians who had reduced expenditure on household furnishings (72 per cent) and clothing and footwear (52 per cent) expected to continue to spend lower amounts on these items as COVID-19 restrictions ease.”

The ABS’s survey was conducted mid-June and asked about domestic and international travel intentions, as well as how soon people intended to travel after restrictions were lifted.

More than half (55 per cent) were planning to go on a domestic holiday while less than a third (29 per cent) were planning an international holiday.

Of those planning a domestic holiday, 20 per cent intended to go within the following month and a further two thirds (68 per cent) within the following six months. Those planning international travel were more likely to intend to travel within six to 12 months (44 per cent) or later (31 per cent).

The ABS plans to release additional information about the experiences and impacts with COVID-19 on these households over the next few months.

The sixth Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey was conducted throughout Australia between the 10th and 15th of June 2020.
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