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ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence continued to slowly increase this week but there were divergent moves in re-opened Sydney and Melbourne

This weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating is based on 1,518 online and telephone interviews conducted Australia-wide with men and women aged 14 and over the weekend November 6/7, 2021.

By Gary Morgan, Michele Levine & Julian McCrann

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence is now at 109.0 and has increased in 11 of the last 13 weeks since hitting a ‘Delta-wave’ low of 98.6 on August 7/8, 2021. That low was the week Victoria entered its record sixth lockdown and since then Consumer Confidence has increased by 10.4pts (+10.5%).

We have been asked about the moves in Consumer Confidence in the key cities of Sydney and Melbourne which this week were in different directions.

Consumer Confidence in Sydney increased by 4.4pts (+4.1%) to 112.8 as restrictions in the city continued to ease. Consumer Confidence in Sydney has now increased for two straight weeks.

From this week people in NSW are able to dance the night away at nightclubs while density limits in restaurants, cafes and bars have been reduced and theatres, cinemas and sports stadia will now be able to operate at 100% capacity for the fully vaccinated.

In contrast, Consumer Confidence in Melbourne was down 5pts (-4.4%) to 107.6. This decline reverses the similarly sized increase of 5.4pts (+5.0%) a week earlier.

There were several likely drivers of this decline in Melbourne during the past week. There were large protests outside the Victorian Parliament against the proposed pandemic legislation which would give the Premier the power to declare a pandemic indefinitely as well as the mandatory vaccinations being ordered by the Government.

In addition to the street protests the State Government has been in the spotlight over the last week as the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) investigates allegations of misuse of public funds to engage in ‘branch stacking’. Several Labor MPs have been in the spot-light including former Victorian Government Ministers Marlene Kairouz and Adem Somyurek.

There have been calls from the Opposition for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to appear before IBAC to answer questions about ‘branch-stacking’ and ‘fraudulent use of public funds’. In recent days Andrews has refused to answer questions about the so-called ‘red-shirts rorting scandal’ in the lead-up to the 2014 State Election. At the time Andrews was the Victorian Opposition Leader.

Given the combination of continuing street protests combined with allegations of ‘corruption’ and ‘rorting’ surrounding the Victorian Government there is little surprise these factors would have a negative impact on Consumer Confidence with protests set to continue and uncertainty about how the allegations of corruption will impact the Victorian Government.

As we saw recently in NSW with the sudden resignation of former Premier Gladys Berejiklian, allegations of corruption can sometimes lead to the departures of key leaders unexpectedly.

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