Unexpected Changes in Australia due to COVID-19 - December 2020
Several unexpected changes were brought about as a result of COVID-19. Firstly, government debt blew out due to the downturn and the government's response to it, and interest rates fell from a record-low 0.75% to an even lower 0.10% in order to stimulate demand.
The impact of the events of 2020 were felt throughout the economy, however. Australians have acquired what consultancy firm McKinsey refers to as "new shopping behaviours" during the crisis, and some it seems we intend to stick with. Online retail sales have increased by 80% since the start of the year, triggering a boom in delivery services – the stand-out being home food delivery via phone apps. Online gambling has been another beneficiary of the pandemic.
Another area where COVID had an unexpected impact was in used care saleyards. Moody's Analytics found wholesale second-hand car prices lifted 45% between April and October as customers steered away from public transport and opted for a used set of wheels.