Essential goods and services drive household spending growth

Media Release

Household spending is 3.0 per cent higher than a year ago, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Robert Ewing, ABS head of business statistics, said: “January’s annual rise of 3.0 per cent was the highest annual growth rate since September 2023.

“The rise was driven by spending on essential goods and services, with non-discretionary spending growing 5.6 per cent. Compared to January 2023, households are spending more on transport, food and health.

“In contrast, discretionary spending rose just 0.2 per cent, as spending on furnishings and household equipment fell 1.6 per cent.”

Compared to the same time last year, household spending rose in all states and territories. 

The largest rises in spending were seen in the Australian Capital Territory, up 6.0 per cent, and Western Australia, up 5.6 per cent.

All states and territories except the Northern Territory had higher spending growth rates than in December. The Australian Capital Territory had the largest rise, up from 2.8 per cent in December to 6.0 per cent in January.

Media notes

  • The indicator is produced using aggregated and de-identified card and bank transactions from banking and financial institutions.
  • The indicator is produced in current price original and current price calendar adjusted terms only.
  • Until the indicator is seasonally adjusted, it is advised to focus on annual comparisons (e.g. January 2024 compared to January 2023). 
  • Significant events such as COVID-19 can lead to very strong annual rises. Care should be given when comparing periods with these events.
  • Care should be given when comparing Household Spending Indicator estimates with other ABS products. See the Methodology page for further information.
  • When reporting ABS data, you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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