Future outlook enhanced by Google Trends

The Household Spending Intentions (HSI) series for June 2021 continued to be heavily impacted by base effects from the volatility in the data experienced in mid 2020 – courtesy of COVID-19 impacts. Taking these base-effects into account, June 2021 saw declines in spending intentions for Home Buying, Retail, Travel, Entertainment and Motor Vehicles. Spending intentions did rise for Health & Fitness and Education. Comparing June this year, to the pre-Covid period of June 2019, shows some more positive results, with spending intentions up for Home Buying, Retail, Health & Fitness, Entertainment and Motor Vehicles. Not surprisingly, however, compared to 2019 spending intentions are lower for Travel and Education.

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New perspectives can keep you one step ahead

Whether you are running a business, a policy maker, an investor or one of Australia’s corporate enterprises - insights on shifting consumer spending intentions are critical in planning for the future. Our Household Spending Intentions series combines our spending data, one of Australia’s largest financial data sources, with Google Trends publically available search activity. By connecting actual spending data to intentional data, our analysis provides an early indication of prospective spending trends across seven key sectors. This series covers about 55% of the total household spend. Future releases will look to expand our coverage to the  remaining spending components.

Data-driven insights can give your organisation a new perspective and help you keep a step ahead.

Home Buying Spending Intentions

Home buying spending intentions

  • Home Buying spending intentions were lower in June 2021 – relative to June 2020, but were higher relative to June 2019
  • The medium-term improvement in Home Buying spending intentions is being driven largely by an increase in home loan applications, but also by Google searches
  • With interest rates low, although rising modestly for fixed rate mortgages and the labour market strong, Home Buying intentions are likely to remain elevated and this is expected to keep upward pressure on house prices

Retail Spending Intentions

Retail spending intentions

  • Retail spending intentions softened in June 2021 against the same month last year – continuing the high level of volatility seen in recent months
  • Relative to last year, spending intentions in June 2021 were higher for; clothing & footwear, food & beverages, general retail and recreation. Declines were seen for spending on household furniture & equipment
  • Comparing June 2021 to June 2019 showed a much stronger picture, with a solid increase across most retail spending categories. This included spending on; clothing & footwear, bakeries, grocery stores & supermarkets, department stores, household furniture & equipment, pharmacies, personal care and recreation
  • Areas of weakness in June 2021 relative to June 2019 included; dry cleaners, tailors, souvenir stores and duty free shops

Motor Vehicles Spending Intentions

Motor vehicle spending intentions

  • Substantial base effects were also evident in Motor Vehicle spending intentions in June 2021, which were down compared with June last year. The fall reflected both a decline in spending and lower Google searches
  • Relative to June 2019, however, spending on motor vehicles was higher in June 2021 – although Google searches remained lower
  • Generally, spending intentions on motor vehicles has been strong through the first half of 2021.  This has been supported by changed transport preferences as a result of Covid-19 and the wealth effect from rising house prices

Entertainment Spending Intentions

Entertainment spending intentions

  • Entertainment spending intentions shifted downwards in June 2021 relative to June last year – as base effects from 2020 continued to impact significantly on the data
  • Relative to June 2020, there was a very large increase in spending on movie theatres, bowling alleys and live theatres – as well as increases in on-premise drinking places, eating out & restaurants and fast food restaurants
  • Weakness was evident in June 2021 compared to June 2020 in spending on off-premise alcohol, video game suppliers and arcades.
  • Compared with June 2019, Entertainment spending intentions in June 2021 were up strongly, with the largest increases in spending on: alcohol, eating out & restaurants, boat rentals, bowling alleys, cable TV and digital books, games, movies & music

Travel Spending Intentions

Travel spending intentions

  • Travel spending intentions corrected lower in June 2021 compared with June last year – with the base effects from the lockdowns of 2020 continuing to have a significant impact on this sector. Both actual spending and Google searches were higher in June 2021 compared with June 2020, especially for airlines, amusement parks, motor home and RV rentals, tourist attractions, travel agents and bus lines
  • Compared with June 2019, however, Travel spending intentions were lower in June 2021. The weakest parts of spending were for; airlines, hotels, motels & resorts, cruise lines, travel agents and bus lines
  • Areas of spending improvement compared with 2019 included; aquariums, camper and RV dealerships, motor home & RV rentals, tourist attractions and trailer park & camp grounds

Education Spending Intentions

Education spending intentions

  • Education spending intentions remained high in June 2021 relative to June last year – partly reflecting the impact of the lockdowns evident through 2020. The actual number of spending transactions on education was well up in June 2021 compared with June 2020, although Google searches on related topics were lower
  • Relative to June 2020, the number of Education related transactions were up strongly, with a focus on universities & colleges and schools. The largest increase in the value of these transactions was seen in elementary and secondary schools
  • Compared with June 2019, the value of education transactions were down in June 2021, with weakness in business & secretarial schools, universities & colleges and trade & vocational. This was partly offset by increased spending on correspondence school and elementary & secondary schools

Health and Fitness Spending Intentions

Health and fitness spending intentions

  • Health & Fitness spending intentions continued to strengthen in June 2021 compared with both June last year and June 2019
  • Relative to June 2020, Health & Fitness spending intentions were up strongly in June 2021. The biggest spending increases were in: doctors, hospitals, medical labs, nursing & personal care, orthopaedic, osteopaths and podiatrists. In the Fitness category, spending increases were seen in commercial and professional sports and club memberships
  • The obsession with cycling seems to be fading, however, with spending on bike shops – sales and service, down on the year, as was spending on sporting goods stores
  • Health & Fitness spending is also well up on June 2019, especially for health and medical services across a wide range of sectors and all fitness sectors, with the exception of commercial and professional sporting clubs

Enhanced by Google Trends

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