In a report issued today by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare that examines a number of studies and research into alcohol use during covid-19 isolation measures, the overwhelming picture is one of Australians drinking less during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Andrew Wilsmore, Chief Executive Officer for Alcohol Beverages Australia said today “Analysis of Commonwealth Bank credit card spend data, ANU research, ABS survey, and industry data show that Australians have reduced their drinking during the height of covid-19 measures.

“Commonwealth Bank shows weekly credit card spending on beer, wine and spirits decreased in April 2020.

“The ANU study shows that more Australians reduced their drinking (27%) than those who have increased (20.2%).

“The third ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, (conducted throughout Australia between 29 April and 4 May 2020), found:

  • nearly half (47.1%) of respondents had said their consumption stayed the same
  • 28.9% reported that they do not usually consume alcohol
  • 14.4% reported an increase
  • 9.5% reported a decrease.

“In total, the ABS result shows that 85.6% of Australians are drinking responsibly during the pandemic shutdown. That’s actually a 1.6% improvement on the ABS National Health Survey finding of 84% released in December 2018.

“This picture is backed up by sales data from producers, with April going down as the worst month on record for sales of beer, wine and spirits.

“Perceptions created from some dubious polls that Australians are drinking heavily at home during this crisis just don’t stack up.

“For those that are choosing to drink, independent research found that drinkers were maintaining average consumption of three standard drinks. Over the course of the week, this amounted to just over eight standard drinks in total – well within the official government guidelines.

“The ANU study found similar. Of those whose drinking increased, just 3.5% said it had increased by a lot and 16.8% saying it increased by a little. For nearly half of those drinking more (45.8%), the increase had only been 1-2 standard drinks in a week”, Mr Wilsmore said

Ends.

Media inquiries: Andrew Wilsmore, 0403 570 407

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