Craig James, Chief Economist at the Bank’s broking subsidiary CommSec and author of the BSI report, said that while growth continued to slow in January, businesses can be optimistic about an improvement in consumer spending in the near-term.
“With household finances improving following the fall in petrol prices and recent interest rate cut, we can expect many consumers to slowly start opening their wallets and increasing their spending as we progress through 2015.
“Overall, the economy is in a relative stable position, so business owners should start planning for growth in 2015 and take advantage of the expected increase in household disposable income,” said Mr James.
The BSI is a key measure of economy-wide spending, tracking the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank point-of-sale terminals.
Across industries, spending rose in 11 of the 19 sectors in trend terms. The strongest performers in January were Hotels & Motels (up 1.5 per cent); Transportation (up 1.0 per cent); Service Providers (up 0.7 per cent); and Miscellaneous Stores (up 0.7 per cent).
Falls were recorded in Business Services (down 4.1 per cent); Mail Order/Telephone Order Providers (down 1.5 per cent); Automobile & Vehicle sales (down 1.5 per cent); and Professional Services & Membership Organisations (down 0.8 per cent).
STATE BY STATE analysis
Strong sales increases were recorded in trend terms in the ACT (up 0.7 per cent), Tasmania (up 0.5 per cent), Western Australia (up 0.3 per cent) and Queensland (up 0.1 per cent).
By trend, the BSI has risen for 43 straight months in Queensland, while Tasmania has seen sales rise for 34 consecutive months.
Spending continued to fall in New South Wales (down 2.0 per cent), and contractions were seen in Northern Territory (down 1.1 per cent), South Australia (down 0.6 per cent) and Victoria (down 0.3 per cent).
In annual terms growth was strongest in Tasmania (up 9.6 per cent), Queensland (up 7.4 per cent), South Australia (up 4.9 per cent), Western Australia (up 4.7 per cent) and Victoria (up 2.2 per cent) while only the ACT and NSW had sales below a year ago.
Find out more about the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator.
About the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator