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Fast-tracked vaccine rollout makes Australians want to go shopping again

A fast-tracked vaccine rollout is making Australians keener on returning to the shopping mall.

The AstraZeneca inoculation is being administered from mid-February with a more effective Pfizer vaccine to follow in coming months.

Despite some pre-Christmas Covid flare-ups in Sydney, consumers are at least upbeat about the prospect of things getting better.

An ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey, asking people whether now was a good time to buy a household item, rose by 3.3 per cent during the first week of January.

A fast-tracked vaccine rollout is making Australians keener on returning to the shopping mall. Pictured are shoppers at Sydney's Bondi Junction Westfield in early January 2021

A fast-tracked vaccine rollout is making Australians keener on returning to the shopping mall. Pictured are shoppers at Sydney’s Bondi Junction Westfield in early January 2021

The poll of 1,529 Australians showed the best score in 11 months, dating back to February 2020 when the share market peaked and before the World Health Organisation declared a Covid pandemic.

While consumers can buy electronic goods online, big-ticket items like televisions, fridges and beds are still typically bought after being inspected at a major shopping mall retailer like Harvey Norman.

CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman said pre-Christmas Covid clusters on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and western suburbs had failed to dampen the enthusiasm of consumers to go shopping again.

‘Despite the downbeat start to 2021, households are showing increased appetite for making a major household purchase,’ he said.

‘Sentiment remains heavily tied to the fortunes of Australia’s suppression of the coronavirus ahead of an expected roll out of Covid-19 vaccines in mid-to-late February.’

The overall score for the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey hit a 13-month high in mid-December of 111.2 points but it dropped slightly by 0.1 per cent to 108.9 points in early January.

This is below the three-decade average of 112.6 points but much higher than the record low of 65.3 points hit on March 29, 2020, the lowest since 1973, as a national Covid lockdown began. 

An ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey, asking people whether now was a good time to buy a household item, rose by 3.3 per cent during the first week of January - the highest level since February 2020 just before the pandemic was declared. Pictured are shoppers in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall on Boxing Day, 2020

An ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey, asking people whether now was a good time to buy a household item, rose by 3.3 per cent during the first week of January – the highest level since February 2020 just before the pandemic was declared. Pictured are shoppers in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall on Boxing Day, 2020

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