The Riverina has been forecast to suffer 'high' to 'extreme' economic impacts from the coronavirus but shoppers in Wagga remained optimistic.
Sydney consulting firm Taylor Fry has estimated how each Australian postcode will be affected based on the number of people seeing a "substantial reduction" in "ability to meet their pre-pandemic cost of living".
Taylor Fry last month forecast that Wagga's economic impact from pandemic restrictions would be about average compared to the rest of Australia.
However, the firm's new report released on Friday has shifted the forecast into the highest category for impacts in some part of the Riverina, with Wagga at the second highest category.
People shopping and having lunch in Wagga who spoke to The Daily Advertiser said they were still hopeful of getting back to normal, and their spending was rising as more shops and hospitality venues reopened.
Wagga resident Anna Delemare said she was lucky that her job was "quite safe" and her spending was "not that different" than before the pandemic except for going out.
"We used to go out to trivia night at the pub every week but that hasn't been available," she said.
Dominic Fleming said he had accepted paying a reduced fee from his gym while it was closed rather than cancelling his membership.
"We've got to support local businesses as they probably don't have the financial buffer that the national chains do," he said.
Carolyn Black said she had not changed her spending habits much expect for being unable to shop at some places because they were closed.
"I don't spend much money because I trying to pay off the mortgage before I retire," she said.
Tom Griffith said he had been "going to the pub as much as I can" because he suspected that another round of restrictions was coming.
Matthew Hart said he had been working on a farm during the pandemic and "life had been pretty much normal" for him.
Taylor Fry principal Alan Greenfield welcomed the nationwide return with 30 per cent of jobs lost during the pandemic now returning but said there were other factors needed for a recovery.
"Taylor Fry's Financial Impact Index considers not just whether someone is employed, but also factors such as income and savings relative to non- discretionary expenses.
"Without discarding the importance of this recovery, many of the returning jobs are lower paid and often occupied by younger people without big financial obligations like kids and mortgages.
"So unfortunately the recovery doesn't translate directly into a similar positive impact for middle-income families."
Mr Greenfield had previously told The Daily Advertiser that regional centres in agricultural areas were at risk as they tended to have a lot of professional services and hospitality businesses that suffered more during the lockdown.
In the new report, Mr Greenfield stated that employment in agriculture had continued to fall in NSW.
"Around two thirds of our agricultural output are exported and therefore the global effects of the pandemic matter a lot to this industry," he said.
"First and foremost, it's how the pandemic affects demand for our products, but pandemic-induced supply chain or production issues will also affect our ability to sell our wares".
The report also used Australian Bureau of Statistics data that predated the closure of the NSW-Victorian border and Melbourne returning to lockdown for six weeks.
An interactive map displaying the financial impact across all postcodes in Australia can be found on Taylor Fry's website.