Consumers and COVID-19: from crisis to recovery

COVID-19 has exposed frailties of existing systems with many Australians facing the biggest challenge of their lives. Systems, policy and processes must be designed in response to the experiences, needs and gaps that consumers have. This requires timely, accurate and robust evidence that goes to the actual, not perceived challenges that consumers face.

Nationwide Consumers and COVID-19 Survey

Consumer Policy Research Centre is conducting a major six-month research initiative, Consumers and COVID-19: from crisis to recovery, including a monthly nationwide consumer survey, collecting and analysing the experiences, behaviours, expectations and challenges of Australians from May to October 2020.

Sectors explored include rental housing, mortgage providers, energy, telco, insurance and credit markets. Through evidence-based policies and interventions built on the lived experience of consumers, we can design a fairer, safer and more inclusive future for all Australians.

Monthly Snapshots

Our monthly snapshots explore some of the key challenges experienced by consumers during each month of the crisis.

Young People Face Debt Tsunami (May-July)

Telco Woes Plague Nation (August)

A Tale of Two Homes: Australia’s housing market divides the population (September)

Policy Briefings

Our monthly policy briefings take a more in-depth look at current consumer concerns, including policy and practice implications for governments, businesses and community sector organisations designing support measures.

12 million Australians concerned about financial impact of COVID-19 (foundational report summary and May results)

Financial concerns remain high, consumers dipping into savings to get by (June results)

Negative experiences for consumers on the rise, young people at greater risk (July results)

Telecommunications providers deliver worse service, people living with disability disproportionately impacted (August results)


Consumers and COVID-19 Foundational Report

In June we released the project’s foundational research report, which covers:

  • the consumer impact of COVID-19, historical lessons and their limits
  • the first findings from a survey of 1100 Australian consumers and their experiences of COVID-19, conducted in May 2020
  • consumer vulnerabilities in the COVID-19 environment
  • consumer support measures locally and globally
  • building blocks for consumer recovery

A collaboration of the full Research and Policy team: Andrew Thomsen, Emma O’Neill, Ben Martin Hobbs and Lauren Solomon.

Foundational Report

Report Summary