Media Release
Sydney’s big snapback revealed in State of the City report
05 February, 2023

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Matt Levinson

New analysis released today shows Sydney starting 2023 with a boom in new businesses across the west, huge event attendance, and a big return of international visitors.

The Committee for Sydney’s State of the City report, in partnership with PwC, will be presented at the Sydney Summit, Monday 6 February at ICC Sydney – it’s a deep recap of the past year to understand where we’re at as the new year begins.

Janice Lee, Partner-Infrastructure at PwC and report co-author, said the data showed 2022 was the breakout year when Sydney learned to live with Covid-19.

“The huge attendance at cultural and social events and the return of international travellers, on par with global peers like LA and London, reminded us Sydney is one of the world’s great cities,” she said.

“While some continued to work from home, resulting in lower levels of public transport usage, there was a significant snapback in attendance at major events across Sydney and record retail sales in busy city precincts.” 

“Looking at key indicators, we see booming confidence in Sydney’s west – it comes through in the record breaking attendance at Ramadan night markets, and in the strong data around new business creation in Blacktown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland and Liverpool LGAs.”  

There were four major trends across the data:

  • Covid-19 changed our habits – record retail activity in some precincts, but peak days in the office reveal a new normal of ~75% workplaces, though the ‘great resignation’ didn’t materialise in Sydney.
  • Sydney roared back to life with record turnouts for major events across the city at Vivid, Ramadan Nights and the City to Surf.
  • Cost of living hit hard, with the highest inflation in three decades driving up costs on the big essential items for Sydneysiders – housing, food and beverages, electricity and transport – likely contributing to a net outflow of residents.
  • The cumulative toll of natural disaster declarations for floods in 2022, following three years of consecutive climate events, highlighted Sydney’s resilience, especially around the Hawkesbury-Nepean.

Read the full State of the City report here:  

Top 10 LGAs for new businesses created in 2022:

Local government area Number of businesses created
Sydney 3779
Blacktown 3290
Canterbury Bankstown 3082
Cumberland 2258
Liverpool 1856
Parramatta 1536
Penrith 1381
Fairfield 1342
Central Coast 1322
Hills Shire 1313

Notes: The State of the City report will be presented at the Committee for Sydney’s annual Sydney Summit at ICC Sydney on Monday 6 February 2023, alongside keynote speakers including NSW Premier Dom Perrottet MP, Shadow Minister for Police & Counter Terrorism, Planning & Public Spaces Paul Scully MP, Francoise Merit (Endeavour Energy), Eliza Owen (CoreLogic), Prof. Greg Kaplan (e61 Institute), Prof. Nicole Gurran (Sydney Uni), Wendy Hayhurst (CHIA), Tom Mackellar (Lendlease), Rebecca Grasso (Campbelltown City Council), Janice Lee (PwC) and others – more information in the Sydney Summit 2023 event program.