Overall spending growth slowed to 3.0% year-on-year in the September quarter (3.9% in June), with spending easing in 9 of 15 spending categories. In a report released by National Australia Bank based on their customers’ spending behaviours, spending on Arts & Recreation Services (e.g. theatre and sporting tickets) was the fastest growing sector at 20.6%. Other areas that out-performed included Wholesale Trade (7.8%) and Accommodation & Food Services (7.0%).
National Australia Bank Chief Economist Alan Oster said “Spending on experiences remains strong, particularly in Adelaide and regional Queensland, perhaps reflecting an improvement in local economic conditions.” But while spending slowed in most sectors, it accelerated in sectors such as Finance & Insurance Services (5.3% vs. 3.8%), Healthcare & Social Services (3.9% vs. -0.8%), Utilities (2.7% vs. 0.1%) and Construction (1.7% vs. -1.8%). “Conditions also remain challenging for Australia’s retail sector, with customer spending on Retail Trade decelerating to 2.4% in Q3, from 3.3% in Q2” said Mr Oster.
The report also provides important insights into household budgets across the country. Average monthly spending in metro areas was $2,140 in Q3 ($2,064 in Q2) and $1,985 in regions ($1,918 in Q2). “Spending growth slowed in all cities and regions, except in metropolitan Adelaide, regional South Australia and regional Tasmania” said Mr Oster. Overall it remains faster in regional areas (4.2%) than in cities (2.4%). The fastest growing metropolitan local government areas in Australia were Walkerville SA (10.7%), Hunters Hill NSW (8.5%) and Glenorchy TAS (8.5%). In regional areas Liverpool Plains NSW (29.1%), Glenn Innes Severn NSW (21.4%) and Western Downs QLD (16.3%) led the way. National Australia Bank’s data excludes spending on mortgages and other credit facility payments and government services
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A National Australia Bank insight