The latest updates to our Recovery Playbook are in line with the worsening results we see in our COVID-19 SME Sentiment Tracker, clearly demonstrating the impact the second wave of outbreaks is having on consumer and business confidence.
Specifically, the latest data shows a rising unemployment rate, weakening jobs data, declining construction activity, and weaker car sales. In fact, the only real bright spot at this moment in time is retail turnover, which remains strong as Australians push their purchasing online.
We can also see a bounce for restaurants and cafes, as Australians took advantage of a bit more freedom to get out to their local. Based on anecdotal feedback, it does however sound like consumers in Greater Sydney are reducing their time out and about off the back of growing concerns about the various hotspots emerging around the city.
Looking to the future, Stage 4 lockdowns in Victoria will have a significant impact on economy activity, so we're expecting to see most of these numbers getting worse. Our thoughts are with the various business owners and individuals working out how they make it through this challenging period.
While the next major update in early September will see a number of indicators worsening, we're hopeful that by then we'll also be seeing significant declines in the Victorian daily case numbers.
In the meantime, stay safe.