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The Recovery Index

In February 2022 the Recovery Index increased to 74% relative to pre-pandemic times.

Finder's Recovery Index as of February 2022

Overall Recovery





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Measuring recovery

The Recovery Index compares life today to pre-pandemic times to measure how 'normal' our current lifestyles are. The index aims to illustrate the extent to which the pandemic turned everyday life upside down, and track recovery from an economic and societal perspective.

The index uses data from years 2017 to 2019 as a baseline for normality. A score of 100 indicates normal circumstances, while anything below it is considered abnormal.

Defining 'normal'

Normal is a term that can be both broad and loaded, so defining what exactly to measure was important. When we considered the aspects of life most impacted by the pandemic, four key areas came to mind: travel, civilian movement (transport), leisure and consumption, and the economy. We measured each of these using the data below.

The Recovery Index in Australia

As of February 2022, Australia is operating at 74% normalcy. This is the highest the index has been since March 2021.

In April 2021 the Recovery Index peaked following the first year of the pandemic, reaching 73%. At this time, there were no lockdowns and most Australians were able to travel domestically. The most recent wave of virus outbreaks and lockdowns caused the index to plummet again, reaching 50% in August. Since then the index has continued to rise, with a small dip in January.

Recovery Index by category

Unsurprisingly, travel is the category the furthest away from recovery, with an index score of 29% as of February 2022. While both domestic and international travel have returned, travel has been slow to return to pre-pandemic levels. This is in part due to fears of Omicron and other Covid-19 variants, which dominated headlines earlier this year.

On the other hand, the economy is outperforming the other categories, with an index score of 97% as of February 2022. Leisure is also performing very well, with a score of 95%.

Recovery Index by city

As of February 2022, Perth has achieved the highest level of recovery with an index score of 92%. This is followed by Adelaide and Brisbane, both with a score of 84%. Melbourne (79%) and Sydney (76%) have slightly lower scores, but have seen a steep improvement in recovery since emerging from lockdown in October 2021.

The data also shows that the cities which have experienced longer lockdowns (i.e. Sydney and Melbourne) had lower index scores during their lockdown periods (47% and 48% respectively) than those who have tended to have snap lockdowns only (i.e. Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth). This is likely because short lockdowns have minimal economic impact compared to those that endure for months.

Outside of lockdown periods, Adelaide (76%), Perth (76%) and Brisbane (75%) are the cities which have reached the closest to recovery.

Recovery Index by city and category

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