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CommBank fortnightly household card spending data softens slightly

CommBank fortnightly household card spending data softens slightly

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

Total annual spending growth in the fortnight ending 23 October eased from 7% to 6%, as spending softened in all jurisdictions.

  • The annual rate of growth in CommBank household credit and debit card spending over the fortnight ending 23 October eased from 7% to 6%
  • Personal care spending in Victoria lifted noticeably as restrictions were partially eased
  • Further easing of restrictions in Victoria on 27 October should see spending lift

In the fortnight that ended Friday 23 October spending on both goods and services ticked lower. Restrictions are still impacting on services spend more than spending on goods. We are unlikely to see services spend match goods spend until the economy is fully reopened.

Spending by channel

Online spending retreated more than in-store in the fortnight.

Spending by state

Annual spending growth softened in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland over the past fortnight.

The slight easing of restrictions in Victoria saw a large lift in personal care spending as hairdressers could reopen. There was little movement in other categories that could have benefited from the easing of restrictions. There is unlikely to be a pick-up in other categories until further restrictions are eased in the state, particularly the reopening of hospitality venues and general retail, which is due 27 October. Confidence in the health outcome will also be important.

The smaller jurisdictions of the Northern Territory, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania also saw a shift lower in spending momentum over the past fortnight.

Spending by categories

Spending on food services (cafes, restaurant, takeaways, etc) softened in most states. Vic lifted but remains deeply in negative territory compared to a year earlier. Confidence in health outcomes, along with social distancing requirements, are impacting spending on eating and drinking out in New South Wales and Victoria.

Spending on alcohol services remains lower than a year ago in NSW and Vic. As we approach the summer months, we would normally expect spending to lift in this category. New South Wales has recently eased some restrictions in this area.

Recreation spend across the four major states remains weak. This category includes accommodation, air travel, cruises and other entertainment. The reopening of state borders and confidence in health outcomes would help the recreation industry to make a more complete recovery.

Why is this information helpful?

CommBank’s 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 coronavirus continues to impact our lives and the economy.

Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Global Economic & Markets Research report “CBA Card Spend – ending 23 October 2020”, published 27 October 2020, author Belinda Allen. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at


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