Households spend more on transport in August

Media Release

Household spending was 4.8 per cent higher when compared to August last year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Robert Ewing, ABS head of business statistics, said: “Spending on transport made the largest contribution to the rise in August.

“Transport spending rose 17.1 per cent over the year, which is higher than the 10.9 per cent growth rate in the 12 months to July.

“Higher petrol prices, as reported in the August Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator, as well as spending on holiday travel and public transport contributed to the rise in Transport spending.”

In addition to Transport, the overall rise in household spending compared to August last year was driven by Health (+8.0 per cent), Hotels, cafes and restaurants (+6.9 per cent), and Food (+4.4 per cent).

Spending on non-discretionary goods and services rose 9.1 per cent, while discretionary spending was flat.

Household spending rose in all states and territories in August 2023 compared to August 2022.

Western Australia recorded the largest rise in spending (+9.9 per cent), led by Transport (+22.5 per cent) and Health (+15.4 per cent).

When comparing this month to last month, spending growth rates were higher in all states and territories, except in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The Northern Territory had the largest increase in its growth rate, rising from +0.4 per cent in July to +4.8 per cent in August.

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.
  • Updates to the household spending quarterly benchmarks and to source data have resulted in revisions to the outputs this month.
  • Until the indicator is seasonally adjusted, it is advised to focus on through-the-year comparisons (e.g. August 2023 compared to August 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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