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Australians’ Spending Continues to Rise

Australians’ Spending Continues to Rise Australians’ Spending Continues to Rise

Spending across the economy has risen for a fourth straight month but has tapered off from the highs seen over the past two months, a survey by Australia’s largest lender shows.

The Commonwealth Bank’s Business Sales Indicator showed a rise of 0.5% in economy-wide spending in January, down from monthly growth rates of 0.7 to 0.8% but still above the long-term average monthly growth pace of 0.4%, AAP reported.

In both October and November sales rose at a 0.8% pace before dipping slightly to 0.7% in December.

The BSI measures economy-wide spending by tracking the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through the bank’s merchant facilities across Australia.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the figures marked a good start to the new year for businesses. “While we’re seeing growth slow from the highs of the past two months, January spending was still ahead of the long-term average monthly growth pace,” James said.

“Consumer confidence remains high, interest rates remain low and local businesses should remain optimistic about the coming 12 months.”

Spending rose across 16 of the 19 industry sectors in January, driven by a 2.1% increase in automobiles and vehicles sales and a further 1.9% rise in spending in service providers following a 2.3% gain in December. Meanwhile, sales in retail stores slipped by 0.7%.

Spending was up in all eight states and territories, with the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania seeing the strongest monthly rise of 1.1%.

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