Widespread job losses amidst a deepening recession have not inhibited Australians’ spending splurge in some areas, with soaring amounts being spent on gambling, food deliveries and alcohol, a report has found.
Fresh figures released by AlphaBeta and leading credit bureau illion showed that spending on food deliveries had skyrocketed during the lockdown; up 277 per cent in the week to August 23 when compared with an average week.
Online gambling spending were 94 per cent above average in the same period, and alcohol and tobacco sales was up by 22 per cent.
Fresh figures released by AlphaBeta and leading credit bureau illion showed that spending on food deliveries have skyrocketed during coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: A delivery driver is seen in Melbourne on August 14
Pictured: Fresh figures show spending on online gambling, alcohol, and meal deliveries is booming
An AlphaBeta spokesman told Daily Mail Australia that food delivery services have increased where people are unable to visit restaurants, and restrictions on shopping.
‘Food delivery is the gift that keep on giving – it keeps going up and up,’ the spokesman said.
‘Food delivery has consistently been two to three times higher than average between April and June, and has maintained similar levels during the second wave.’
The spokesman also explained that the sharp increase on online gambling, with betting apps such as Sportsbet and online lottery ticket purchases had largely replace in-person gambling.
‘There has been a channel shift from people spending cash on pokies to online gambling.
‘So that means gambling rates might not be up, but it appears that way because can track it when it’s online – we can’t track cash spent on pokies.’
Alcohol and tobacco sales were up by 22 per cent in the week to August 23 when compared with an average week. Pictured: A woman in a face mask visits Dan Murphy’s during Melbourne’s coronavirus lockdown
While takeaway alcohol sales have increased, restaurant spending has gone down.
‘Where we’ve seen restaurant spending go down, some of that has been replaced by people at home,’ he said. ‘Some people are doing the exact same thing as they normally would while out, but at home.’
Millions of jobs were destroyed during nationwide lockdowns in March forcing more than 700,000 people to apply for Jobseeker benefits of about $1,500 per fortnight.
About 1.35 million residents also applied to access $10,000 of their superannuation from July 1 to subsidise lost income.
Data found online gambling spending was 94 per cent above average (stock image)
Among the areas where spending had sharply fallen were public transport, pubs and clubs, and travel.
Public transport was down 58 per cent on an average week, with many people still working from home during the coronavirus scare, and others switching to private transport to prevent close contact with others.
Pub and club spending had fallen 45 per cent below standard, with Victorian venues closed, and venues in other states operating on restricted capacity due to social distancing regulations.
Travel spending was down by 33 per cent, as Australians are forbidden from travelling overseas for all but essential journeys, and states like Queensland and Western Australia had shut their borders to interstate visitors, severely restricting tourism options.
Spending on health services rose by about 69 per cent, the research found. Pictured: A man enters a Chemist Warehouse store in Sydney