The Commonwealth Bank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) series, data to end February, shows a clear and early impact from the summer bushfires and the economic and policy response to the coronavirus. Building on the declines seen in January, both the Education and Travel intentions series declined sharply in February. Whilst concerning to see, the falls evident in February show the value in the HSI indicating turning points in the economy early. More positively, the Home Buying spending intentions series remained near the top of its historical range, while the Motor Vehicle spending intentions series continues to improve. Retail spending intentions remain at low levels, while Health & Fitness spending intentions and Entertainment spending intentions are both now also weakening.
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