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CommBank card data shows spending recovery resumes

CommBank card data shows spending recovery resumes

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

CommBank household card spend data suggests that after a week’s pause, the gentle upswing in spending has resumed.

  • CommBank household credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 3 July shows that spending on both goods and services lifted from the prior week
  • Spending online and instore improved, with total spending up 12% from the same time a year ago
  • Spending in Victoria continues to lag behind other states and territories. A reinstatement of some restrictions and lockdowns for some suburbs are likely to hold back spending in Victoria

Spending on goods picked up to be 27% higher than the same period a year ago. Spending on services also lifted but is still 3% below the same period last year. 

Combined, total spending on goods and services is up 12% from the same week a year ago, with both in-store spend and online spend lifting. The annual growth pulse in online continues to run higher than spending in-store.

Spending by category

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Spending on food goods (primarily at supermarkets and grocery stores) remains high, up 26% from the same period last year. Spending on food services (cafes, restaurants, takeaway, etc) continues to improve and is 13% higher than the same time last year. Total spending on food goods and services is up 22% from the same period a year ago.

Spending on alcohol services (drinking at hotels, pubs and clubs) is running 6% below last year’s levels but remains on an improving trend. Spending on alcohol goods (bottle shops) has also picked up and is now 42% above the same period last year. Total spending on alcohol goods and services is 23% higher than the same time last year.

Household furnishings and equipment spending has spiked up to be 51% above the same period last year.

Spending on both clothing and footwear and personal care resumed their upward trend. Spending in hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons and spending on apparel are both up 11% from the same time last year.

Spending on transport and recreation are gradually recovering. Spending on transport is now just 2% lower than last year’s levels, while spending on recreation such as accommodation, air travel and travel services, is down 8% from the same period a year ago.

Spending on medical goods and services however has staged a sharp recovery and is now 11% above last year’s level. 

Growth in CommBank in-store household card spending continues to track higher than in-store spending on CommBank merchant facilities. This reflects the impact that a lack of foreign tourists is having on overall expenditure.

Spending by state

Spending lifted in all states and territories over the week to be above the levels of the same period a year ago. Remember though, that a shift from cash to card spend makes the annual growth rates look better. 

Growth in spending has been strongest in Tasmania, closely followed by Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.

Victoria continues to lag as coronavirus cases have lifted and some areas are back in lockdown. 

Why is this information helpful?

CommBank weekly credit and debit card spend data gives you an up-to-date picture of what people are spending their money on and how this is changing as the coronavirus continues to impact our world and the economy. 

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 household 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.  Data has not been adjusted for effects of consumers substituting between cash and card payments.  CBA merchant facility spend data is derived from the Merchant Acquiring System which includes net sales from both CBA and Other Financial Institution (OFI) domestic and international cards.

Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Global Economic & Markets Research report “CBA Card Spend – ending 3 July 2020”, published 7 July 2020, author Kristina Clifton. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at

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