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Card data indicates massive fall in spending in the lead up to Easter

Card data indicates massive fall in spending in the lead up to Easter

The following article has been developed by the Global Economic & Markets Research team.

The coronavirus has dramatically impacted the way we live, work and socialise. This can be seen in weekly CBA card spend data. 

  • CommBank’s credit and debit card spending data shows that spending in the week ending 10 April is down 20% from the same week a year ago
  • Spending on services is down 44% over the year while spending on goods for the week ending 10 April is now just 3% above last year’s levels
  • Household furnishings and food are the only categories where spending is up from the same period last year

CommBank’s weekly analysis of CBA credit and debit card spending indicates that the fall in household spending has accelerated compared to last week.

Download infographic (JPG)

Category % change on year
Food +6%


In previous weeks spending data, the spend on alcohol had been holding up, partly due to the spike in sales at bottle shops. But this week spending on alcohol is now below last year's levels which may be a result of the drop in spending at hotels, pubs and bars far outweighing the lift in sales at bottle shops. 


Household furnishings and equipment

It appears hosueholds are planning DIY work, maintenance and repairs over the enforced shutdown period. 


Clothing and footwear

People are largely staying at home so there is less need to spend money on these goods. And there is less opportunity to consume these goods with many shops closed.


Personal care (beauty and barber shops, massage parlous, etc)

People are largely staying at home so there is less need to look good. And there is less opportunity to consume these services with many hairdressers, spas, etc. closed.


Transport (including public transport)

Due to large numbers of workers working from home, and the reduction in activity and the movement of people more generally.

Recreation (including accommodation, air travel and travel services) -37%

Why is this information helpful?

CommBank’s weekly credit and debit card spend data gives you an indication of what people are spending their money on and how this is changing as the coronavirus impacts our world and the economy. 

This week’s CBA credit and debit card spend gives an indication of the impact of the government shutdown on household expenditure. With the shutdown anticipated to remain in its current form throughout the June quarter, we don’t expect to see a rebound in our spending data for the foreseeable future, despite the incredible fiscal and monetary support packages provided by the Federal and State governments. It is impossible for households to spend on a range of goods and services when the businesses that provide them are shut. Additionally, there is less desire to spend on some goods and services due to households seeking to avoid face-to-face interaction where possible. 

We will be providing further updates to help you understand the impact that the virus is having on businesses and the broader economy.


Note: Weekly CBA credit & debit card spend data is derived from transaction authorisations to give a near real-time view. This means that cancelled authorisations, refunds, reversals, etc will not be included.  

Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Global Economic & Markets Research report “CBA Card Spend – week ending 10 April 2020”, published 15 April 2020, author Gareth Aird. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at

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