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Card Data Show Consumers Still Spending Despite Weak Sentiment


Australian consumers seem to be holding up despite the higher cost of living and rising interest rates. Their spending patterns also don’t seem to be matching what they are telling surveys about their confidence … yet. It could be a turning point for the RBA when that changes.

  • ANZ reported this morning that its internal card data is showing that spending at non-food retailers picked up again at the start of November and is trending above 2019. It seems that the dip in the data at the end of October was a “blip” and that large purchases are not yet being delayed.
  • The ANZ card data with the CBA’s just released spending intentions and retailers’ anecdotes are pointing to solid sales during the all-important Christmas trading season.
  • But ANZ Roy Morgan’s latest consumer confidence reading fell 1.5% last week, which was the 6th consecutive weekly fall. It is now at levels seen at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. Inflation expectations rose to 6.8%, their highest since the series began in 2010.

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