RETURN TO NORMALITY? A Pulse on AUS Consumer Normality - Week 2

Aus Normality Index – Week 2

Posted 09 Apr 2020
Web banner 1 1024x487

Week 2 Fielded 2 – 5 April 2020

Australians have responded to the CV-19 crisis with gritty realism based on how they are rating how normal life is right now, scoring life at 35% compared to same time last year. Comparing this to our partner poll, USA Normality Index which shows Americans are more optimistically rating life at 49% normality. When you consider the different infection rates between the two nations (AUS 1.9% vs USA 17.7%, source: AFR 9 Apr 20), the Aussie pragmatism and respondent observance of government directives to stay home and maintain social distance may be serving Australians. 63% of Aussies also believe we have at least another six months before life begins to return to normal. Forethought thanks our partner, PureProfile for their support in conducting this weekly research.

The Australian Normality Index is a partner study to the Forethought USA Normality Index.

Last week, Forethought launched a predictive indicator of the behaviours that will have the greatest impact on Australians feeling normal again, as well as when any reversion to normality is likely to take effect across all aspects of our lives. ​ ​In the second week of our ongoing pulse, the Normality Index has demonstrated that while Australians’ sense of normality has remained stable, there has been decreasing sentiment on feeling comfortable with going out in public and making future plans in both a personal and professional capacity. Tighter measures introduced by the Australian Government, coupled with a growing sense of anxiety amongst Australians, has prompted a mass recalibration of expectations as to when society will emerge from this crisis. Keep reading to learn more about the results of Week 2 of the Australian Normality Index.

Keep reading to learn more about the results of Week 2 of the Australian Normality Index.


Drivers of normality model 1024x455

Yet to emerge as significant:
Ability to go about your routine outside the home, ability of everyone to attend school/work as usual, ability to socialise with friends/family inside your home

Recap from Week 1

When we think of ‘normal’, what springs to mind are things like our ability to go to school or work or to socialise with our friends and families. But what we’ve found is that our sense of normality is most impacted by the restriction on our basic freedoms which are core to our way of life. We’ll feel normal when we have our personal freedoms back – when we’re able to be out in public or to travel. It is this freedom of movement that will have the largest impact on our sense of normality. Closely followed by the ability to start making plans again – for weddings, funerals, anything.

WHAT’S NORMAL? Index numbers across indicators of normality.
Index numbers across indicators of normality.

Thinking about life at present (including wider society), how normal do you feel the following aspects are?

Govt efforts to preserve access to essential services is working, as the biggest increases in normality have been in Australians’ ability to buy groceries (including medication and household items) and access healthcare as needed. As the Australian Government introduced nationwide physical distancing recommendations, we have seen a decrease in normality on feeling comfortable to go out in public, which has been further exacerbated by strict penalties. Once again, our confidence in the economy has declined as a shutdown on select retail, travel and hospitality services resulted in an increased unemployment.

Whats normal 1 1024x1003


Compared to last week, the greatest shifts appear to be a lift in Australians watching streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Stan) and an increase in supermarket visits.

In the next week, how likely are you to… (On a scale of 0 to 10, only highly likely 8-10 responses shown)

Bfi 768x83 2

Almost half of Australians will continue to review their finances over the next week, while likelihood to visit a financial advisor has dropped, returning to the levels seen pre-pandemic.

Banking and finance 1024x327
Groceries 2 768x84 3

Intentions to visit a supermarket have increased, as the government steps up measures to ensure that Australians can access essential supplies.

Groceries and meals 1024x304
Entertainment 2 768x85 2

As stricter social distancing measures come into place, use of streaming services will see the greatest behavioural shift over the next week. Over half of Australians are intending to consume media through Netflix, Stan, Disney Plus etc.

Entertainment 1 700x393


Thinking ahead, 63% of Australians believe that it will take at least 6 months for things to return to normal, highlighting a more conservative stance on the current situation. One tenth felt that impacts of Covid-19 will have a lasting effect on the way we live our lives.

Retuning to normal 1024x816

Respondents fell into two clusters – those who appear to be the Optimists, who expected life would return to normal within five months. And a more pragmatic or pessimistic group, who believed it would take an extended period of time.

Week 3 results available Wednesday 15th April


Access the Nomality Index data below

Download Data