CommBank: Credit card spending back up in May

Ceyda Erem

07 May 2020

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With social distancing restrictions easing and spirits lifting, it seems as though Aussie households are starting to see the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. 

According to new research from CommBank, both credit card and debit card spending are showing early signs of improvement the last two weeks. 

Even though spending is still considerably down than from a year ago, consumer spending was up across a range of goods and services and all states and territories. 

More specifically, online sales experienced the biggest spike, with online retail items up 110% compared to the same time last year. 

RELATED: How to use your credit card effectively during COVID-19

“Our analysis offers a glimmer of hope that we may be past the lowest point in terms of people spending less,” said CommBank’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird. 

“Although people are continuing to spend less, the rate of decline is slowing,” he said. “It looks to be the case that households have stepped up their rate of expenditure over the second half of April compared with the first half of the month.”

When asked what Aussies are spending their money on, household goods and furniture came out on top and was up by 35% over the fortnight ending May 1, 2020. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, spending on non-retail goods such as travel, recreation and personal care has dropped, however its rate of decline has eased in the last fortnight.

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Aird said that although total spending in early May was still considerably lower than this time last year, the results surpassed mid-April 2020, which was down by almost 20% compared to last year. 

“Our latest data comes before any easing of restrictions, so it may be that households are feeling more confident to spend at businesses that have not had to shut their doors. It also looks like households have been more eager to get online, click the mouse and fill up the virtual shopping basket,” said Aird. 

More than 25% of Aussies dissatisfied with their credit card

But while some Aussies are getting back into the swing of things with spending, others may not feel the same way. 

According to recent research by data analytics and consumer intelligence company J.D. Power, 27% of cardholders are unhappy with their current card, with 16% claiming it no longer meets their needs. 

So, if you’ve been thinking about switching out your piece of plastic for a more suitable option, head on over to our credit card comparison or get started with the offers below. 

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