Aussies to spend up before stopping to watch the Cup



Australians will enjoy a week of spending before pausing to watch the big race, according to analysis of NAB customer transactions across previous Melbourne Cup days.

Spending using a debit or credit card is expected to peak at midday on Tuesday 7 November this year, before falling by almost one-third during the big race.

On Melbourne Cup Day 2016, Australians made around 1.75 million transactions by card in the hour between midday and 1pm, which fell to 1.2 million transactions between 3pm and 4pm.

The number of customers who will log in to check their bank account online is also expected to fall by up to 50 per cent while the race is being run between 3pm and 3.15pm, compared to a regular Tuesday.

Australians are also expected to hit the shops ahead of the big race. More than 6.48 million retail purchases were made the day before last year’s Cup, approximately 10 per cent more than the average Monday (5.95 million). On Cup Day itself – a public holiday in Melbourne – retail spending fell 10 per cent.

The hospitality industry will also receive a boost, with spending at restaurants up each year by five per cent on the Monday before the Cup. Spending at bars and liquor outlets is also expected to jump by 20 per cent on Monday and Tuesday next week, based on 2016 figures.

NAB Executive General Manager of Consumer Lending, Angus Gilfillan, said customer spending habits from the past two years paints a busy picture for retailers.

“Aussies love a celebration and that’s really reflected in the way we see customers using their cards and money in the first week of November,” Mr Gilfillan said.

“Based on what we’ve seen in previous years, we’re expecting there to be a frenzy of activity in the days and hours leading up to the Cup, as customers spend up at retailers and on hospitality, which is in stark contrast to an average week day.

“Cash is the clear favourite among punters, as we traditionally see a 20 per cent increase in cash withdrawals across the Monday and Tuesday.”


NAB’s 2017 Melbourne Cup Forecast:

  • 50% fewer Internet Banking logins during the race
  • 30% less card transactions in the hours before the big race
  • 20% more cash withdrawals the two days before Melbourne Cup
  • 20% more spent at bars and liquor outlets across both Monday and Tuesday
  • 10% more spent at retailers the day before Cup Day
  • 10% less spent at retailers on Cup Day
  • 5% more spent at restaurants on Cup Monday
  • 2% more spent at restaurants the Saturday and Sunday prior to Cup Day

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