Panic food buying booms PMI

Funny stuff:

That gives you some idea of how runiously thin is Australia’s contemporary industrial base. Full report.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. I am looking forward to a different Australia once the virus is contained locally. If we could keep the international borders closed for a while and lift the lock down measures within Australia soon, then hopefully we will realise we don’t have to rely on endless cheap labour and imports and over crowded cities to survive. Bye bye growth lobby. Once we get used to that norm and if there’s a risk of the virus coming back from overseas then travel in to Australia should be restricted and stay low long term.

    Wouldn’t it be nice or am I dreaming ?

    • DominicMEMBER

      The growth lobby fully expect everything to return to the glory days and will push hard in that direction. Not sure it’ll be that easy though.

      • Torchwood1979

        Indeed. Low unemployment (just ignore the rising underemployment) was a key to maintaining the growth model. Despite the Government’s attempt to keep as many Aussies in work as possible unemployment will pop and there’s no way the labour market will magically snap back to February 2020 once this is over. The labour market has always been a lag economic indicator – the economy can be heading into recession before jobs start to shed en masse and the economic recovery is usually well underway before unemployment improves substantially.

        Importing zillions of migrants to boost consumption and provide cheap labour while there are Centrelink queues stretching round the block (physically or virtually) ain’t going to happen.

        Many of us have wondered when some sort of Aussie reset would occur to break the endless growth model and it’s likely COVID-19 is the catalyst.

        • One can only hope. Not importing huge numbers of immigrants while the dole queues run down the road would require some common sense from politicians though. And we all know that the ALP are owned by the CCP.

    • DingwallMEMBER

      The economy will never get healthy until we destroy the religion of real estate and that will likely never happen………….

  2. DominicMEMBER

    Panic buying in food will inevitably lead to a precipitous drop in demand down the road as people’s financial wherewithal is exhausted and they start to consume what they’ve bought. Household consumption of TP will only be higher on account of wfh (or a higher fiber diet – but given the amount of pasta and white rice in people’s pantries I would hold my breath 😉).

    • BoomToBustMEMBER

      agreed, my wife and I have the same thought. Although we are seeing reports of people throwing out unused food for those that over stocked and couldn’t consume it before it spoiled. This will see those factories producing food need to lay off workers, supermarkets will become ghost towns shortly as we expect demand will plummet and shelves will be full stocked against shortly.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Actually you make a good point there about waste — we, as country, throw out an awful lot of food as it is, but hoarding will just lead to even greater levels of waste, especially for perishable goods, because you end up with so much stuff in your cupboards and fridge/s that you just lose track and then it spoils and goes in the bin. We’re actively going through everything we have and tailoring the next meal around what’s there. It’s not ideal but if you want to avoid egregious amounts of waste it’s the way forward.

        • Our household wastes very little food under normal circumstances. Since we’ve been self isolated we’ve wasted zero food. I’m sure some idiots will be wasting food but I think with unemployment being so widespread and people now having time to pay attention to what are doing that many people are reducing food wastage. Business as usual is gone, some are slower than others to change but I do think change happening.

          • DominicMEMBER

            Well, that’s what hard economic times do. Make people think a little harder. Good thing too.

            The utter waste that’s gone on during boom times is, frankly, a disgrace. Reminiscent of The Roman Empire at its decadent peak. The plebs worshipping deadbeat celebs and championing ‘billionaires’. MAFS, MKR, The Bachelorette, ffs.

    • I’d say high fiber would reduce TP consumption. If you get your fiber levels right you barely have to wipe or sometimes even not at all.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Most of the hoarded food will be chucked away. Toilet paper do last a long time though.

    • According to ZH, the supply chains in the US are starting to break down.

      Which means the ‘hoarders’ will be the ones prepared, and everyone else will get screwed.

      • Jumping jack flash

        I find it curious that they shout about how there is no shortage and everyone needs to calm down and stop panicking, yet the shelves are *still* empty.

        • My local was fully stocked last time I went.

          But it’d be the 3rd wave of panic. “This might keep happening, so I’d better get more than usual.”

          I was in the first wave in January. Just a bit more each shop. Bag of rice, extra couple of tins. No one noticed. No stories about us.

          • Jumping jack flash

            The smallish Woolies down the road has been out of everything remotely hoardable for close to 3 weeks.
            The closest Westfield-like shopping centre is not as bad, but no pasta or TP for 3 weeks to be found anywhere.

            The IGA around the corner hasn’t been too bad, if you like paying $10 for 6 rolls of TP. No cat litter available for a week though.

      • DominicMEMBER

        I’ve always had a stash of stuff (not crazy amounts) – just in case. I just rotate through the stash to ensure to remains reasonably fresh and there’s not too much waste.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Nonsense, there is no end to the panic, so no end to the panic buying until everyone’s garage is full of toilet paper and pasta.

      The economy depends on this.

  3. GeordieMEMBER

    Before Covid-19
    Only short, out of peak trips to the supermarket. Most groceries delivered to the door. Contact with others was minimal.

    After Covid-19
    Frequent, long trips to busy supermarket after supermarket, trying to find everything on the list. Social distancing? LOLZ! The place is PACKED!!! Several trips a week required to get 80% of what we need.

    Yeah, we are NAILING this!

  4. Jumping jack flash

    As I’ve said before, the economy depends on this.
    The debt wasn’t growing fast enough for the past couple of years to avert total global economic collapse so the government needed to step in, at least at some point. The virus brought forward what would have been required eventually.

    The new model is that half the population hides in their houses while they work from home, between bursts of panic buying toilet paper and pasta. The other half delivers the toilet paper and pasta and therefore is gainfully employed.

    Since everyone has enough debt now, the government borrows the banks’ debt and distributes it as UBI. Taxes pay the interest. Since half the population is confined to their houses, this cuts back on government spending on services.

    Everything else just falls into place after that. This is the new economy. I’ll be completely surprised if it stops anytime soon. “The virus” isn’t going to go away, and I am very doubtful that there will be ever be a “cure” because its a flu. There is no cure for flu.

    • DominicMEMBER

      Sounds like just the world I’ve dreamed of — the Govt telling me precisely what to do and when to do it.

      Utopia for many …