Consumer spending measured by the CommBank Household Spending Intentions Index rose by a modest 0.9 per cent in June to 117.3, while there was clear evidence of weaker discretionary spending following the recent interest rate hikes.

The marginal rise in the index – which combines Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) payments and lending data and Google Trends search information – was narrowly based. While the index is now equal to its record high set in March 2022, the gain in June was mainly driven by increased cost of goods and higher spending in the transport, education and household services sectors.

Australians returning to the office saw transport spending surge 6.7 per cent in June, due to the higher cost of fuels and an increased use of public transport, car parks, taxis and childcare services. Elevated demand for work clothing also drove increased spending on department stores, dry cleaning and tailoring. While transport spending is up 132.2 per cent on June 2021, it remains well below the pre-pandemic levels.

Travel spending intentions rose by 1.5 per cent in June and are up 71.3 per cent on the year, as pent-up demand is unleashed. Travel agencies, cruise lines, airlines, airports, hotels & motels, tourist attractions, sports and recreational camps and bus lines all benefited, although motor home and RV rentals weakened as people looked to holiday further afield.

CBA Chief Economist Stephen Halmarick said: “Australian consumer spending remains higher than a year ago, as the economy recovers from the 2021 lockdowns, with the CommBank HSI Index up 11.9 per cent relative to June 2021.

“However the index’s modest gain in June was narrowly based, driven mainly by the increased price of many goods and services, such as petrol, which helped drive higher spending on transport, along with increased spending on education and household services.

“Interest rate-sensitive sectors of the economy and are clearly starting to show the impact of recent Reserve Bank interest rate increases, with discretionary spending on entertainment, home buying and retail all declining on the month. With further interest rate increases expected through the remainder of 2022, we would expect to see discretionary spending weaken further in coming months.”

After last week’s third consecutive monthly increase in interest rates, CBA is forecasting a 25bp hike in August and additional increases over coming months taking cash rate target to 2.1 per cent by end of 2022. CBA’s economics team has trimmed its GDP growth forecast for 2022 to 3.5 per cent (from 4.7 per cent) and expects house prices to fall around 15 per cent from peak-to-trough by end 2023.

The CommBank HSI Index combines analysis of CBA payments data (Australia’s largest consumer spending data set covering approximately 40 per cent of payment transactions), loan application information and Google Trends publicly available search activity data. To access this powerful insight into spending trends visit

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The information contained in this media release is published solely for informational purposes and provides general market-related information, and is not intended to be an investment research report. This media release has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation (including the capacity to bear loss), knowledge, experience or needs. Before acting on the information in this media release, you should consider its appropriateness and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional or financial advice, including tax and legal advice. The data used in this media release is a combination of ‘CBA transaction data’ and Google Trends™ data. Google Trends is a trademark of Google LLC. The term ‘CBA transaction data’ refers to the proprietary data of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ("the Bank") that is sourced from the Bank’s internal systems and may include, but is not limited to, credit card transaction data, merchant facility transaction data and applications for credit. All customer data used or represented in this media release is anonymous and aggregated before analysis, and is used and disclosed in accordance with the Bank’s Privacy Policy Statement. The Bank takes reasonable steps to ensure that its proprietary data is accurate and that any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held, or are made at the time of compilation of this media release. As the statistics take into account only the Bank’s data, no representation or warranty is made as to the completeness of the data and it may not reflect all trends in the market. 

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