Publications

- June 1, 2021: Vol. 13, Number 6

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Retail therapy: Spending on necessities is back in fashion for Australians

by Dinesh Pillutla

It has been more than a year since Australia was pulled into its first major lockdowns as a result of COVID-19. Back on 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Shortly thereafter, on 13 March 2020, Australia announced a ban on outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more, and by the end of the month, a number of significant lockdown measures were announced. By and large, Australia has had a relatively safe run over the ensuing 12 months. As of 27 April 2021, Australia has recorded a total of 29,725 cases of COVID-19, the large majority of which were reported in the two main waves during March and August 2020.

The total COVID-19 cases represent about 0.12 percent of Australia’s population of 25.7 million people, and pale in comparison to the United States, where approximately 10 percent of the population had confirmed cases of the disease. Australia’s low infection rate is largely due to early lockdown measures, a general willingness t

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