Holiday related spending leads household spending higher

Media Release

Household spending rose 17.8 per cent in January compared to the same time last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Robert Ewing, ABS head of business indicators, said: “Household spending remained high to start the new year, with increases across eight of the nine spending categories compared to January 2022.

“These increases were led by spending on transport (up 41.5 per cent), hotels, cafes and restaurants (38.5 per cent) and clothing and footwear (20.9 per cent),” Mr Ewing said.

“Spending on services recorded a 28.2 per cent through-the-year increase in January 2023, which was stronger than the 8.6 per cent rise in goods spending,” Mr Ewing said.

“This can be credited to the post-COVID recovery in spending categories such as transport, hotels, cafes and restaurants and recreation and culture. Spending on these services was more affected by COVID restrictions, and 2022 has seen a recovery to a more normal share of total spending. From the low point in April 2020, spending on services has risen 145.5 per cent compared to 35.8 per cent for goods,” Mr Ewing said.

Compared to pre-pandemic data from January 2020, spending on services has increased by 13.8 per cent, while goods spending is up 23.7 per cent over the same period. By spending category, clothing and footwear (+32.2 per cent) and recreation and culture (+25.2 per cent) have seen the largest percentage rises over this period, with price increases likely to be contributing to this growth (see Consumer Price Index, Australia for further information).

The rise in total household spending seen in the year to January 2023 was stronger than seen in the year to December 2022. This was partly influenced by ongoing strong spending on services but was mostly because trading conditions in the comparison month, January 2022, were restricted by the response to the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak.  

State and territory results

Household spending increased in all states and territories in January 2023 compared to January 2022.

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the largest increase in spending (+20.5 per cent), with strong growth in hotels, cafes and restaurants (+39.4 per cent) and transport (+35.3 percent).

Through-the-year rises were higher in all states and territories this month compared with December’s figures. Tasmania had the largest percentage point increase in through-the-year spending, rising from 9.2 per cent in December, to 17.9 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 includes nine of the 13 key divisions classified, according to the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP).

  • 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 through-the-year comparisons (e.g. January 2023 compared to January 2022). 

  • Significant events such as COVID-19 can lead to very strong through-the-year 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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