You’ll need to update your browser so you can continue to log on to your online banking from 28th February. Update now.



CommBank weekly card spending data shows further easing

CommBank weekly card spending data shows further easing

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

Annual spending growth fell in all states and territories in the week that ended 28 August 2020.

  • CommBank household credit and debit card spend data for the week ending 28 August was up 1% from the same period a year ago. In the previous week, the year-on-year lift was 5%
  • Weak spending in Victoria may be spilling over to other jurisdictions
  • Online spending is still strong, up 20% over the year, while in-store spending continued to ease and is down about 5.5% from the same time last year

In the week that ended 28 August, spending on goods was up 12% from the same week last year, while spending on services was down 9%.

Download infographic

Spending by channel

Online spending eased from the previous week’s record high. There continues to be considerable volatility caused by online education payments and changed semester dates in some states and territories. 

In-store spending remains lower over the year. CommBank in-store merchant facility terminals and card spend data are tracking tightly. Combined, they indicate that in-store spending is down about 5 ½% on the same time last year. 

Spending by state

Annual spending growth eased across all states and territories. 

State spending growth in Victoria and New South Wales were tracking tightly until Victoria’s second wave of new coronavirus cases arrived. Victoria’s lockdown restrictions in July and August have caused spending outcomes between the two states diverge markedly.

Spending by categories

To date, consumer spending on household furnishings and equipment has been strongly boosted during the pandemic. However, spending growth in this category is starting to ease.

We will be watching closely to see to what extent households shift their discretionary expenditure from home improvements back to services like travel, personal care, recreation and eating and drinking out once restrictions are lifted.

The disparity across states is very clear in the drinking out (alcohol services) category. Spending at venues like bars, pubs and clubs appears to be strongly affected by state success in controlling coronavirus outbreaks, as well as the level of restrictions.

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 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 28 August 2020”, published 1 September 2020, author Nic Guesnon. Full Global Economic & Markets Research disclaimers can be found at 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION 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.