Household spending growth slows in December

Media Release

Household spending was 2.3 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: “This was the smallest growth in household spending since February 2021. 

“Through-the-year growth in household spending eased across eight of the nine spending categories in December, as households continued to face cost-of-living pressures.

“Discretionary spending was 0.6 per cent lower than the same time last year, with less spending on goods for recreation and culture and on furnishings and household equipment contributing to the fall.”

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

Western Australia and the Northern Territory had the largest rises in spending (both +4.5 per cent), followed by South Australia (+2.8 per cent).

Most states and territories recorded lower spending growth rates than in November. South Australia had the largest fall in growth, dropping from 5.4 per cent in November to 2.8 per cent in December.

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 annual comparisons (e.g. December 2023 compared to December 2022). 
  • 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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