March arrivals data looks horrible…and it’s only likely to get worse

The March Arrivals and Departures data from the ABS this morning, while looking horrible, is likely to be eclipsed by even more disturbing numbers in the future.

March saw a decline of 59.9% in short term international arrivals from the same month a year ago Over the course of the past 12 months total arrivals are down 4.8%. All data relates to the seasonally adjusted series from the ABS; they have suspended the Trend series given the difficulties in estimating a reliable Trend when data is displaying such wild movements. Departures likewise fell sharply, down 64.9% y/y and 2.6% over the course of the 12 months. Of course this data relates to the month in which travel restrictions were ramped up and it is almost certain that the data for April will be even more dramatic with airports across the country having ground to a virtual halt (bar some repatriation flights).

When we consider the State of Intended Stay data (seen through the lens of the Conus Trend…being mindful of the issue with Trend estimates at a time like this!) we see a similar 61% y/y decline across the nation. NSW was down 63% while QLD fell 57%. Across the past 12 months Australia has seen a 4.6% drop, QLD is down 4.9% while NSW has suffered far more than the other major states and is down 7.6%.

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