Economy-wide spending remains strong across Australia, with a range of non-mining sectors contributing to a re-balancing of the economy, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI).
Spending grew by 0.4 per cent in November in trend terms, after lifting by 0.5 per cent in October, however down on the 0.6 per cent increases seen in July-September. This result continues the uninterrupted trend of economy-wide spending growth each month back to mid-2011.
Annual growth of spending also remained solid at 7.3 per cent – up slightly from 7.2 per cent in October - remaining well above the decade-average of 5.1 per cent.
From an industry perspective, the business services sector continued to rise, posting 2.8 per cent growth in November - the ninth consecutive month of growth in business sales. Hotels and motels also experienced a lift of 2.6 per cent, driven by the growth in tourism from the low Aussie dollar; and retail sales grew by 0.5 per cent in the lead up to Christmas.
The more volatile seasonally adjusted measure of the BSI, however, posted a 0.8 per cent decline in November, after lifting by 0.5 per cent in October, while annual seasonally adjusted growth eased from the 11-month high of 8.9 per cent to 6.1 per cent.
Savanth Sebastian, CommSec Market Analyst, said that the continued growth in spending is a great result for an economy in transition.
“Another consecutive month of growth should be pleasing for businesses, with evidence that the re-balancing of the economy in the wake of the mining boom is taking place. Annual growth figures still show that economy-wide spending remains above the decade average, and this continues a long stretch of positive annual growth dating back to early-2012.
“The strong growth in business services and tourism based sectors should leave businesses and government optimistic that the economy remains resilient and adaptable heading into 2016,” Mr Sebastian said.
Aside from the strong results recorded by Business Services (up 2.8 per cent) and Hotels/Motels (up 2.6 per cent), sales in the Mail Order/Telephone Order Providers and the Retail sectors both grew in the lead up to Christmas, rising 1.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. However the growth in the large Retail sector is down from lifts of 0.7-0.8 per cent experienced over the past six months.
At the other end of the scale, just six of the 19 sectors contracted in November. These included Airlines, Amusement & Entertainment, Automobiles & Vehicles, Government Services, Personal Service Providers, Professional Services Membership Organisations, and Wholesale Distributors & Manufacturers.
Sales rose in six of the eight states and territories in November, with Victoria and Tasmania experiencing the strongest growth, both up 1 per cent. This was followed by the ACT (up 0.9 per cent), Western Australia and Northern Territory (both up 0.7 per cent) and Queensland (up 0.2 per cent).NSW saw sales fall for the month, down 0.2 per cent, as did South Australia with a slight 0.1 per cent drop.
In annual terms, two states and territories had sales below a year ago: Northern Territory (down 3.5 per cent) and NSW (down 0.9 per cent). Annual growth was strongest in Tasmania (up 11.2 per cent) from the ACT (up 9.4 per cent), Western Australia (up 9.2 per cent), South Australia (up 8.5 per cent), Queensland (up 6.2 per cent) and Victoria (up 3.3 per cent).
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.
About the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator