The CommBank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) Index rose 1.8 per cent to 107.3 in February, led by a post lockdown increase in transport spending and an uptick in home buying spending intentions.
Transport spending intentions surged 11 per cent in the month, driven by higher fuel prices and increased spending on taxis, parking lots, car washes, freight and trucking services. Public transport spending remained comparatively weak with many people continuing to work remotely.
Home buying spending intentions rose 29.6 per cent in the month following the usual seasonal weakness in January and as people returned from summer holidays. But while home buying spending intentions rose in February in comparison to January, they were down 4.4 per cent in comparison to February 2021, when home buying was peaking after the first COVID lockdown. This result is consistent with the view of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) economists that property prices will end 2022 flat and decrease 8 per cent in 2023 as the effects of expected interest rates increases are felt.