More comprehensive monthly consumption data by mid-2025

Media Statement

Improvements to the Monthly Household Spending Indicator (MHSI) will mean the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) can stop the Retail Trade publication in August 2025, which will give people a more comprehensive view of household consumption and remove the need for businesses to respond to the Retail Business Survey.

The Retail Trade publication has traditionally been used as an early indicator of household consumption. It’s become less useful over time due to shifts in consumer behaviour, particularly changes in the proportion of household spending on goods compared to services. This change in consumer behaviour has resulted in the Retail Trade coverage falling from 56 per cent of household consumption in 1959-60 to 33 per cent in 2022-23.

More comprehensive monthly data on household consumption is now available from the ABS’ Monthly Household Spending Indicator (MHSI). This indicator provides an early read on household spending, covering around 68 per cent of household consumption, compared to the 33 per cent covered by the Retail Trade data.

Alongside the MHSI, the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator (MBTI) also provides a frequent and timely indicator of economic activity in important parts of the economy.

The ABS produce MBTI and MHSI by making use of administrative data from the private and public sectors. This means around 3000 businesses will no longer need to respond to the ABS Retail survey each month. This work supports the ABS’ initiative to reduce reporting burden on businesses while continuing to produce important economic indicators. 

The ABS will be working with data users to improve the MHSI and MBTI to make sure these indicators have the information people need before stopping the Retail Trade Publication in August 2025.

More Information about this transition can be found on the Future cessation of the Retail Business Survey and Retail Trade Publication webpage or through contacting us at

Media notes

  • The Monthly Household Spending Indicator is produced using aggregated and de-identified card and bank transactions from banking and financial institutions.
  • The Monthly Business Turnover Indicator is derived using Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Business Activity Statement (BAS) data from monthly remitters.
  • 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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