The services sector is now entering a difficult period of pandemic-related closures and adjustments from a base already weakened by summer's bushfire crisis and by longer-term factors. Local responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic are already decimating large segments of the services sector.
The Australian PSI® indicated stable conditions in finance & insurance but contractions in the five other sectors in March (trend). Restrictions on human movement and gatherings means closures for many businesses in hospitality, retail, transport, recreation, personal services, education and even community services. Businesses that remain open face falling sales and increasing operational restrictions.
Businesses that responded early in the survey collection period for March were generally still optimistic. But as activity restrictions were progressively announced across Australia, respondents became far more pessimistic.
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Tony Melville – 0419 190 347