2 booming ASX shares show exactly what Aussies are up to during COVID

There have been many restrictions on what we can and can’t do. So, where’s everyone’s money going?

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Investors are all watching to see how the post-COVID world pans out.

In Australia, there are 2 ASX shares that have gone gangbusters in recent times that provide an insight into how Australians are living since the pandemic.

According to Bell Direct senior market analyst, Jessica Amir, the Australian economy has recovered rapidly from the coronavirus recession.

“There are 2 main drivers behind this,” she told Yahoo Finance Summit Live this week.

“Employment growth and changing behaviours of how we’re spending our money.”

Employment growth has benefitted ASX finance stocks, with the big four banks all recording handsome gains on their share prices over the past 12 months.

But consumer behaviour is the real mirror of what everyday Australians are doing to shake off their pandemic malaise.

“The consumer discretionary sector… is actually the second best performer on the ASX this year,” Amir said.

“And lockdown leisure stocks are really at the forefront of this.”

Itching to travel

There are many restrictions on our lives, so Australian dollars have been diverted to specific alternatives.

“We can’t travel anywhere… so a lot of us are taking to the roads for our holidays. We can’t travel overseas,” said Amir.

“That brings me to ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB).”

ARB is a maker and distributor of 4-wheel driving accessories, like bull bars and roof racks.

According to Amir, it’s the best performing share in the ASX consumer discretionary sector this year.

“They’re up 50%.”

In fact, in the past 12 months, the ARB share price has gained an incredible 157%. On Friday afternoon, it was trading at $44.00.

Let’s have a punt

Pandemic restrictions have also caused boredom among the masses.

In Australia, that’s meant the gambling industry has seen some upside.

“Another really interesting one is the global online pokie company called Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL),” Amir said.

“Some of us are having a dabble on the pokie machines…their shares are up 40%.”

In the past 12 months, Aristocrat shares have gained more than 70%. They were trading at $43.31 on Friday afternoon, just shy of their 52-week high of $43.37.

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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended ARB Corporation Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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