Relief and festive cheer for WA households as 2020 ends 

Aaron Morey

Chief Economist

In line with national sentiment, household confidence in WA has rebounded to its highest level in 10 years. The CCIWA Consumer Confidence Survey – the only independent, WA-specific index of consumer sentiment – shows a strong improvement in both the short and longer-term outlook, driven by the State safely re-joining the national economy, record low interest rates and progress on a global vaccine. 

An uptick in confidence boosted the holiday cheer in WA households, with the average Western Australian set to spend more than $900 this Christmas. In a blow to bricks and mortar retailers however, nearly a third of that spend is set to occur online. 

Six in ten (59%) Western Australians expect the economy to improve in 2021. There has been a 23 per cent surge in short-term optimism since WA’s border restrictions were eased, the most significant factor driving confidence.  

Following the successful control of hotspots in other states, Western Australians are less fearful of a COVID-19 outbreak, with concern about this factor easing by 14 percentage points since the height of the pandemic. However, rising trade tensions with China has played on Western Australian nerves, cited as a source of pessimism by one in three (34%) consumers 

These results show WA household sentiment improving in line with the rest of the nation, boosted by Australia’s successful management of COVID-19 and positive news for 2021. They affirm CCIWA’s calls to safely ease border restrictions, reinforcing that Western Australians understand our position as a trading state, with fortunes closely tied to the rest of the nation, and to China. 

In order to maintain strong levels of consumer confidence, Western Australia should outline clear economic reforms to cement and advance our recovery. With a more competitive tax mix, WA could better leverage our significant advantage as a COVID-safe destination in the contest for global investment and international students. 

Read the full CCIWA Consumer Confidence Survey Report – Dec 2020. 

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