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CommBank weekly card spending data broadly steady

CommBank weekly card spending data broadly steady

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

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 We don’t expect services spending to recover until the shutdown measures in Victoria are withdrawn and there is confidence in the control of the spread of the coronavirus.

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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

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.