Wow, what an October 2021.
- We started that month with over half of Australia’s population in lockdown.
- As the month progressed, we witnessed lockdown restrictions begin to ease, then that process occurred at an accelerating pace.
- That was great news and a big bump for confidence and economic activity.
- The retail industry provides a great example.
- We still have to live with COVID and the next twelve months will be riddled by the complexity of the times. We’re at the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.
- We can just accept that fact and look at the positives, of which there are many. Moving from October to November – when international borders re-opened, we face brighter times and opportunities.
So where are we it?
There are sectors like Retail, together with Accomodation and Food Services who will thrive in the late 2021 and 2022 economic enviroment. Many businesses have clung on through nearly two years now of restrained trading conditions. Many haven’t survived and many who have show ‘staff wanted’ signs in the window as skills shortages bite. Post lockdown certainly isn’t without its challenges.
Those that have successfully endured the fight now face increased demand for goods beyond online traffic, plus strong pent-up demand for services. Think cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, and barbers … and so the list goes on. I don’t have much hair, but I enjoyed visiting my local Lebanese barber, albeit waiting in a queue under COVID restrictions. I reckon I spent almost as much time outside on a chair than I did having my hair cut and my beard trimmed. Little things mean something to individuals which feeds through to greater confidence and consequently higher demand. At the end of the day, economics is a social science.
It really is a biggie that the borders between New South Wales and Victoria have re-opened, for those who are fully vaccinated. These are our two most populous states. In the first business day back there were twenty-two flights scheduled for Sydney to Melbourne. The previous week retail spending was running at $150m a day. We’ll explore everything further in coming months, including the opening of international borders.
Finally, surely the best words over the last month are: “H – Hi my name is Cleo”
I’ll catch you all next month.