New indicator provides monthly insights into household spending

Media Release

A new experimental monthly measure of household spending by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses big data to produce new insights and expand the suite of ABS monthly indicators.

The first ABS Monthly Household Spending Indicator shows household spending increased 8.6% in December 2021 compared to December 2020 in current price, calendar adjusted terms. The largest spending increases were on furnishings and household equipment (27.4%) and hotels, cafes and restaurants (23.6%). However, spending on recreation and culture fell 8.9% through the year.

Head of Macroeconomic Statistics Division at the ABS, Jacqui Vitas said: "This new indicator uses aggregated, de-identified banks transactions data to produce more frequent household spending insights.

"Household Consumption contributes around 50 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product so is a key component of the economy. The new data will enable governments, researchers and businesses to identify shifts in spending behaviour by spending category and by State and Territory."

Ms Vitas said the Household Spending Indicator complements existing ABS expenditure data such as the monthly Retail Trade Survey.

The new product is the latest in a series of new economic indicators that the ABS announced in October 2021 which will use big data to provide new insights into the economy.

The ABS would like to acknowledge the critical support from the participating banks who have enabled the production of this new monthly household spending indicator.

Media notes

  • The indicator is produced using aggregated and de-identified card and bank transactions from several banking and financial institutions.
  • The indicator includes 9 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. December 2021 compared to December 2020) comparisons. 
  • Care should be given when comparing Household Spending Indicator estimates with other ABS products.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am - 5.00pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our email notification service and get media releases or products sent to you on release.

Back to top of the page