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



Consumers spend in January

Consumers spend in January

Annual trend sales growth as indicated by CommBank research is at its fastest in almost a year.

CommBank research showed consumers were spending across January, with the latest Business Sales Indicator (BSI) up 0.5% for the first month of 2017.

The report, released on Monday by the Commonwealth Bank, is a key monthly indicator of the state of the local economy.

Overall, 16 of the 19 industry sectors analysed posted higher sales in trend terms in January. One of the strongest gains in sales occurred in automobiles and vehicles, up 2.1%.

Sales in retail stores fell by 0.7%, while spending at amusement and entertainment businesses fell 0.2%.

The BSI tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through CommBank point-of-sale terminals.

It covers spending broadly across the economy, not just retail sales, and includes spending on vehicles, personal services and airlines.

Annual trend growth in sales continued to be strong at 5.8%. That's the fastest growth in almost a year.

January spending was ahead of the long-term average monthly growth pace of 0.4%, according to CommSec chief economist Craig James in a note.

The more volatile seasonally adjusted BSI fell by 0.2% in January after falling by 1.5% in December and rising by 3.8% in November.

Sales were stronger in all states and territories last month, with the ACT and Tasmania seeing the strongest gains across the country at 1.1%.

"The outlook for spending remains favourable, with interest rates low, rising home prices boosting wealth, and job ads and vacancies lifting to five-year highs," James said.

CommSec said it "sees no change in official interest rates for the foreseeable future."


This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Investors should consult a range of resources, and if necessary, seek professional advice, before making investment decisions in regard to their objectives, financial and taxation situations and needs because these have not been taken into account. Commonwealth Securities Limited ABN 60 067 254 399 AFSL 238814 (CommSec) is a wholly owned but non-guaranteed subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 and a Participant of the ASX Group and Chi-X Australia.