Household spending continued to rise in August

Media Release

Household spending continued to rise in August 2022, increasing by 29.0 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Jacqui Vitas, ABS head of macroeconomic statistics, said August 2022 saw the 18th consecutive month of increases through the year in total household spending, with increases in all spending categories. 

“There were strong increases following COVID-19 Delta lockdowns that reduced spending last year. The strongest increases were seen in Clothing and footwear (up 75.8 per cent), Hotels, cafes and restaurants (up 64.8 per cent) and Transport (up 57.8 per cent).”

Spending categories that were not as impacted by lockdowns, such as Food (up 2.4 per cent) and Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (up 0.2 per cent) saw only small rises compared with August 2021. 

Pre-pandemic comparison

Compared to pre-pandemic August 2019 estimates, total household spending was 15.8 per cent higher in current price, calendar adjusted terms.

The strongest increases over this period were in Recreation and culture (up 31.1 per cent), Clothing and footwear (up 26.3 per cent) and Furnishings and household equipment (up 20.1 per cent). Food also saw increased spending, with a rise of 15.8 per cent.

This line graph shows the household spending index numbers in current price, calendar adjusted terms. 

State results

All states and territories saw increases in household spending in August 2022, compared to August 2021, with the Australian Capital Territory (up 46.7 per cent), New South Wales (up 42.3 per cent), and Victoria (up 33.5 per cent) recording the highest increases in spending through the year. All three jurisdictions experienced lockdowns due to the Delta wave this time last year.

Compared to pre-pandemic August 2019 estimates, all states showed rises in household spending with Queensland (up 21.5 per cent), South Australia (up 19.6 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 18.2 per cent) showing the strongest rises.

This bar graph shows the changes in total household spending for all the states and territories when comparing the August 2022 to the August 2021 and 2019 (pre-pandemic) estimates. 

Media notes

  • The indicator is produced using aggregated and de-identified card and bank transactions from several 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 (e.g. August 2022 compared to August 2021) comparisons. 
  • 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.
  • 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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