Household spending on health up 15.7% in the past year

Media Release

Household spending on health was 15.7 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: “Spending on health made the largest contribution to the overall 3.4 per cent rise in household spending in April.

“We saw a 5.8 per cent rise in spending on non-discretionary goods and services, with households also spending more on fuel and food. 

“In contrast, discretionary spending rose 0.6 per cent over the year as households continue to limit their spending on non-essentials.”

As well as higher spending on health, the overall rise in household spending was driven by increases in the miscellaneous goods and services category (+12.9 per cent) which includes child care, professional services and personal care; and in the furnishings and household equipment category (+6.4 per cent).

The annual growth rates in these categories were impacted by the earlier timing of Easter in 2024, as there were fewer public holidays in April 2024 compared to April 2023. 

Compared to the same time last year, household spending rose in all states and territories except the Australian Capital Territory. The largest rises in spending were seen in the Northern Territory, up 7.1 per cent, and Tasmania, up 6.1 per cent.

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. April 2024 compared to April 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.
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