Attention bargain hunters! Discounts back on the cards after Covid panic buying

Oct 31, 2020
Customers should take advantage of the price cuts on everyday items. Source: Getty.

Bargain hunters were in luck this quarter as the latest inflation figures show that discounts finally made their way back into the market over the past three months. This comes after the peak of the pandemic saw everyday items marked up in line with the increased demand brought about from panic-buying.

New data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) revealed the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the main measure of inflation in Australia, rose by 1.6 per cent in the September quarter. This inflation bounce-back followed a 1.9 per cent decline in the June quarter, which also marked the biggest quarterly drop in 89 years.

Groceries showed a notable fall in the latest numbers with a 3.5 per cent drop in the price of “other food products”, a 1.8 per cent drop in cakes and biscuits, 0.7 per cent drop in takeaways and a 4.3 per cent drop in other cereal products. And that won’t be the last of it according to Commsec’s Chief Economist Craig James, who said: “A return to regular discounting cycles after the peak Covid-19 stockpiling period drove the movement across a wide range of products”.

Non-durable household products fell by 4.1 per cent over the quarter while the cost of personal care products fell by 3 per cent. This was also linked to the return of discounting on products such as toilet paper and body washes after the panic-buying frenzy that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic.

The announcement came just in time for the inaugural Black Friday sales which are due to run on November 27 in which companies are known for slashing prices to all time lows. This year, leading companies like Amazon, eBay, David Jones, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi and Myer will be listing big sales that will help shoppers save a pretty penny.

According to Finder’s complete Black Friday Deal Finder, Amazon is said to be slashing prices by up to 70 per cent while David Jones is boasting up to 60 per cent off home and electrical items. While some stores, including Myer, eBay and Sheridan, aren’t even making shoppers wait until next month and have already started their sales.

But while retail and food sectors saw price drops, September’s inflation rebound from the June quarter was linked to some pretty hefty increases in other areas. The biggest reason for the rise was the government ending its childcare subsidy scheme which in turn saw a rise of 11.1 per cent in preschool and primary education.

Additionally, petrol prices soared in September with an increase of 9.4 per cent following the nearly 20 per cent drop customers saw at the bowser in the June quarter. RACQ’s September outlook noted that after the price collapse in the beginning of the year, petrol prices stabilised in July and August before trending slowly down in September.

The Queensland-based motoring club also said that it was unlikely to see any substantial change in the coming month with oil prices likely to stay stable or trend slightly up. However, this is all dependant on the outcome of the pandemic as if there is a resurgence in Covid-19 and restrictions are reimposed, the price of petrol will fall again.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

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