Total annual spending growth was up 4%. Spending in the September quarter is up from the June quarter, leading us to lift our forecasts for economic growth.
- CommBank household credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 18 September was up 4% from the same period a year ago, little changed from 5% in the previous two weeks
- Annual spending growth in all jurisdictions broadly tracked sideways over the past week
- CBA card spend in Q3 20 is up compared to Q2 20 driven by a lift in spending outside Vic
In the week that ended Friday 18 September, spending on goods was up 15% from the same week last year, while spending on services was down 7%. We don’t expect services spending to recover until the shutdown measures in Victoria are withdrawn and there is confidence in the control of the spread of the coronavirus.
Spending by channel
Household spending on debit and credit cards in-store slipped in the past week, however online spending turned higher and remains elevated.
Spending by state
Annual spending growth across the states has been broadly tracking sideways for the past month.
Western Australia and Queensland continue to outperform New South Wales, as well as Victoria, which is still lagging behind.
South Australia and Tasmania are marginally outperforming the Northern Territory and ACT.
Spending by categories
Spending on transport is down 16% from the same period last year. Although spending in this category has tracked a little higher in Victoria in recent weeks, it remains weak. In New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia it has softened slightly.
Spending on recreation softened further in the major states, leading national spending to be down 13% from the same time a year ago. As this category includes accommodation, air travel, cruises and entertainment, the soft result isn’t surprising. We expect stronger spending in this category once state borders are reopened and international travel is allowed.
Spending on drinking outside the home (alcohol services) continues to show divergence between states. Spending remains lower over the year in New South Wales and Victoria, keeping national spending down 12% from last year’s levels. In contrast, spending on alcohol goods (spending in bottle shops) is up 30% from the same time last year. Combined, spending on alcohol is up 14% from last year.
Spending on takeaway food and eating out in restaurants and cafes (food services) in Western Australia and New South Wales increased in the past week, helping to lift the national figure to 4% above last year’s levels. There is a renewed focus on improving eating outside facilities across some states, which may help lift spending in this category. Spending in supermarkets and grocery stores (food goods) is up 25% from last year. All up, spending on food is 18% above last year’s levels.
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 COVID-19 continues to impact our lives 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.
Source: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Global Economic & Markets Research report “CBA Card Spend – ending 18 September 2020”, published 22 September 2020, author Belinda Allen. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at www.commbankresearch.com.au.