Household spending growth slows in April

Media Release

Household spending rose 6.0 per cent in April compared to the same time last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Kate Lamb, ABS head of business indicators, said growth in household spending has slowed from high levels seen in the second half of 2022.

“From a peak of 29.1 per cent in August 2022, this month’s 6.0 per cent growth has followed a downward pattern from an 11.9 per cent rise in February and an 8.4 per cent rise in March,” Ms Lamb said.

“This is mainly due to lower growth in spending on consumer services, like holiday travel and eating out, which continues to normalise following the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Transport (+15.5 per cent) and Hotels, cafes and restaurants (+13.4 per cent) recorded the largest percentage increases across spending categories. These growth rates, however, are substantially lower compared to their recent peaks in August 2022 (63.5 per cent and 69.6 per cent respectively).

“Spending growth for goods has also slowed but to a lesser extent, as inflation continues to increase spending on food,” Ms Lamb said.

State and territory results

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

Western Australia recorded the largest increase in spending (+9.6 per cent), led by large growth in Transport (+27.4 per cent) and Hotels, cafes and restaurants (+14.0 per cent).

“Remember this is compared to April 2022, when WA experienced a rise in COVID-19 Omicron cases later than other parts of the country, which impacted spending on these categories,” Ms Lamb said.

Rises in spending growth were smaller in all states and territories this month compared to last month. The Northern Territory had the smallest rise (+2.7 per cent), dropping from 9.7 per cent in March.

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).
  • All modes of transport are classified as non-discretionary, including bus, train and air fares, and the purchase and operation of motor vehicles.
  • 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. April 2023 compared to April 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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