NAB Customer Spending Behaviours – Q4 2016

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New data released by NAB today indicates that spending on consumption-based goods and services by NAB customers grew 3.1% over the year to Q4 2016.

The data, based on around 4 million daily transactions, also shows that average monthly spending during the quarter was $2,117 in metropolitan or “city” areas and $1,949 in regional areas.

According to NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster, “The data sheds new light on the spending behaviours of Australians in every corner of the country.”

“Given the sheer size of NAB’s customer base, it’s reasonable to assume that these spending behaviours are representative of our country as a whole” he said.

Overall, spending growth was fastest for Accommodation, Cafes, Pubs & Restaurants (13.5%).

Across Australia, our cities accounted for 64% of all spending. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane alone accounted for half (50.1%) of all spending.

Overall spending in cities grew by 2.9% over the year. Spending growth was fastest in Hobart (4.1%), Sydney (3.9%) and Melbourne (3.7%) and slowest in Perth (-0.4%) and Brisbane (1.7%).

“But, while our cities accounted for the majority of spending, our regions also contributed a sizeable 36%. Spending in regional areas accounted for a much bigger share of total state spending in Queensland (55%) and Tasmania (50%)”, said Mr Oster.

Spending growth in regional areas (3.5%) actually outpaced that in cities with many of the fastest growing regional areas also among the smallest in the country.

The fastest growing regions in Australia were Walgett (19.7%), Upper Hunter Shire (16.1%) and Murray (14.4%) in NSW, and Torres Strait Island & Torres (14%) in Queensland. Looking across the top 30 fastest growing regions, parts of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia are also represented.

“Our regions already play an important role in our economy. It’s clearly in our nation’s interest to continue to support these areas so that they can prosper”, added Mr Oster.

Customer spending excludes mortgages and other credit facility payments and government services.

Read the full report from NAB Economics.

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