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Data reveals how Australia is losing direction from lockdowns


Life in Australia is heading on a completely separate path to countries like the UK and US where a sense of normal activity is emerging, according to data collated by the ANZ Bank.

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The divergence could underline why many Australians have been frustrated with lengthy and repeated lockdowns.

But the data also points to Queenslanders champing at the bit to get out of the recent lockdown.

It also showed a significant jump in the number of people in the state searching for government assistance to a point well above last year’s nation-wide lockdowns when JobKeeper was started.

Even the national obsession with real estate has taken a hit with Google searches related to home buying trending lower and falling dramatically in NSW and Victoria.

ANZ said the recent lockdowns in Queensland and Victoria meant its activity index, which charts the movement and economic activities in various cities, was back down towards its recent low. This matches the low seen during Victoria’s second lockdown, but is well above the earlier 2020 low.

ANZ said the Google Search Sentiment Index and Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index both “fell over’’ in the past week, but the key message of both was the same: sentiment is holding up better than last year.

“As lockdowns continue in several states, domestic mobility is diverging from that of nations with high vaccination rates.

“There was no sign of hesitancy amongst Queenslanders, as part of the state exited lockdown, with queries related to cinemas and hairdressers rising even before restrictions were eased.

“The lockdowns in Queensland and Victoria have seen restaurant bookings Australia wide fall back below 2019 levels. With Queensland having reopened numbers are likely to improve over the coming week,” ANZ said.

According to a separate report from the Commonwealth Bank, Queenslanders have at least made good use of their time at home.

It found the fastest growth in renovation activity was in Ipswich in Queensland (up 378.6 per cent), ahead of Central
Queensland (up 207.3 per cent) and Logan-Beaudesert, up 141 per cent.

Using the Apple Maps routing requests, the ANZ found that in the UK and the UK the seven day average had jumped 160 per cent. In Australia it had fallen to 60 per cent.


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