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CommBank card spending data shows further modest recovery

CommBank card spending data shows further modest recovery

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

As the economy progressively reopens, household spending continues to lift modestly.

  • CommBank credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 19 June shows that a continued recovery in spending on services is driving the overall improvement.
  • Consumers are slowly returning to in-store shopping.
  • Card spending in all states and territories is now higher than in the same period a year ago (note that a shift from cash to card spend flatters the annual growth rates).

Analysis of CommBank credit and debit card spend data to 19 June shows continued modest recovery.

Spending on goods has consolidated at an elevated level (up 22% from last year’s levels) while spending on services continues to recover from the slump in April and is now 8% below the same period last year. 

Combined, total spending on goods and services is up 7% from the same week a year ago.

Download infographic

Spending by category

Spending on food goods (primarily at supermarkets and grocery stores) has plateaued at an elevated level, running at 24% above the same period last year. Spending on food services (cafes, restaurants, etc) has picked up as restrictions on eating out have been eased. Spending on food services is now 9% higher than the same time last year.

Spending on alcohol services (drinking at hotels, pubs and clubs) is running 17% below last year’s levels but the trend continues to improve. Spending on alcohol goods (bottle shops) remains very strong, running at 42% above the same period last year.

Household furnishings and equipment spending remains high too, at 42% above the same period last year.

Spending on clothing and footwear and personal care looks to be stabilising after a sharp improvement over May and in early June. Spending in hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons is 13% above last year’s levels, while spending on apparel is up 7% from the same time last year.

The spending pulse on transport and recreation has improved, but both remain lower in annual terms. Spending on transport is 7% lower than last year’s levels as people continue to work from home and avoid public transport, while spending on recreation such as accommodation, air travel and travel services, is down 9% from the same period a year ago.

Spending by channel

In-store card spending continues to improve as restrictions are eased. 

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.

Why is this information helpful?

CommBank’s 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 19 June 2020”, published 23 June 2020, author Kristina Clifton. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND DISCLAIMER This report provides general market-related information, and is not intended to be an investment research report. This report has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation (including the capacity to bear loss), knowledge, experience or needs. It is not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or financial instruments, or as a recommendation and/or investment advice. Before acting on the information in this report, you should consider the appropriateness and suitability of the information to your own objectives, financial situation and needs, and, if necessary seek appropriate professional or financial advice, including tax and legal advice. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the “Bank”) believes that the information in this report is correct and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on the information available at the time of its compilation, but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made in this report. Any opinions, conclusions or recommendations set forth in this report are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to the opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed elsewhere by the Bank or any member of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia group of companies. Any valuations, projections and forecasts contained are based on a number of assumptions and estimates and are subject to contingencies and uncertainties. Different assumptions and estimates could result in materially different results. The Bank does not represent or warrant that any of these valuations, projections or forecasts, or any of the underlying assumptions or estimates, will be met. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Where ‘CBA data’ is cited, this refers to the Bank proprietary data that is sourced from the Bank’s internal systems and may include, but not be limited to, credit card transaction data, merchant facility transaction data and applications for credit. The Bank takes reasonable steps to ensure that its proprietary data used is accurate and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made as at the time of compilation of this report. 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. All customer data used, or represented, in this report is anonymised and aggregated before analysis and is used, and disclosed, in accordance with the Group’s Privacy Policy Statement.