Consumer spending still sluggish across Australia

Spending across Australia remained slow last month, suggesting consumer activity has flattened out across the economy, new research has found.

The latest Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Business Sales Indicator (BSI), which tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through the bank's point-of-sale terminals, remained unchanged in trend terms in October after contracting for ten consecutive months.

Matt Comyn, executive general manager for Local Business Banking at CBA, said: "It is important to recognise that overall growth remains weak and the upward trend we had been witnessing appears to have slowed."

Meanwhile, CommSec chief economist Craig James noted that the BSI had seen its biggest annual decline since data was first collected six years ago.

Consumers aiming to boost their spending power in the current climate could choose to compare debit cards and other money products in search of the best deals. Last week, Woolworths chief Michael Luscombe claimed that there has been "a real shift towards value" among consumers aiming to keep a tight grip on household budgets.

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