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Media Release

Melbourne Cup – the five minutes that stopped the nation spending

Melbourne Cup – the five minutes that stopped the nation spending

Image source: Getty Images

CBA data shows spending plummets around country during the big race

Commonwealth Bank transaction data shows Melbourne Cup really does stop the nation.

Credit and debit card transactions dropped 33 per cent between 3.00pm and 3.05pm, according to CBA data. The drop is even steeper from 2.55pm to 3.05pm, at 38 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Pete Steel said Melbourne cup has always been a very unique day.

“We don’t see a consistent trend like this on any other day of the year – where spending drops off dramatically during an exact moment in time.

“Our transaction data shows a steady increase in activity throughout the morning, peaking at 1pm, followed by a sharp fall when the horses jump at 3pm. For the five minutes between the start of the race and when the winner is announced – the economy holds its breath,” Mr Steel said.

“Once the race is over, we’re back spending, but there is a steady decline for the rest of the afternoon – which is pretty consistent with the drop off at the end of a normal day.”


Spend on transport peaks with key race times

Taxi and Uber usage peaked initially at midday, up 65 per cent on the same day and time the previous week (31 October). Usage then plummeted 37 per cent between midday and the opening of the gates at 3pm. Taxi and Uber usage peaked again at 7pm, up 52 per cent on the same day the previous week, and up 96 per cent from the drop at 3pm on Melbourne Cup Day.