Spending in NSW has rebounded sharply following the lifting of some lockdown restrictions last Monday, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) weekly credit and debit card spending data.

Week on week card spending rose 12.3 per cent in NSW in the week to Friday 15 October, leading an overall 6.2 per cent increase in national card spending. NSW card spending was also 17 per cent higher than the corresponding week in 2019, considered the last ‘normal year’ prior to the start of the pandemic.

Spending on both goods and services rose, with sharp increases in spending on personal care, eating and drinking out and clothing. As people flocked to dine out at restaurants, cafes and pubs, spending on food and alcoholic goods for consumption at home also fell. 

In store spending lifted strongly and there was a subsequent dip in online spending. The spending rebound was sharper in metro NSW than regional NSW as some regional communities had already exited lockdown.

CBA Chief Economist, Stephen Halmarick, said spending in NSW had risen back to the same levels seen leading up to the lockdown. “Sharp spending increases in NSW across many categories and the reopening bounce confirms there was strong pent-up demand for spending on services.

“Spending in Victoria also continued to rise ahead of the lifting of restrictions and with lockdowns there lifting from Thursday, we expect to see a further increase in Victorian spending in next week’s card spending report.

“We would also expect to see a similar trend in ACT spending next week, with the ACT exiting lockdown last Friday. Conversely, some softness in spending may be evident in Tasmania, given the snap lockdown in parts of the state,” Mr Halmarick said.

CBA’s card spending data covers approximately 40 per cent of consumer payments transactions in Australia and is the nation’s largest and fastest consumer spending data set. High frequency CBA card spending data will again be published on a weekly basis to help track the pace and extent of the recovery in consumer spending post-lockdowns and to see how consumers respond to living with COVID.

For the complete run down of this week's CBA Card Spending Report, click here.