Spending is on the rise as the year rounds out, says CommBank

Australians are looking to spend more across retail, entertainment, motor vehicles and home buying, according to the November instalment of the Commonwealth Bank’s Household Spending Intentions series.

This monthly assessment uses consumer behaviour and Google search activity to gauge spending trends across a range of areas.

In November the report saw a jump in home buying intentions based on an increase in home loan applications, after a less notable rise in October. This may in part be due to further interest rate reductions after the RBA cut the cash rate yet again in November.

There were also considerable increases in actual spending and search volumes for retail items like clothing and footwear, household furniture and equipment, and personal care. Very strong spending was seen across supermarkets and department stores, hardware shops, florists, pet shops and digital apps during November.

As social restrictions ease across the country, entertainment has seen a marginal boost, especially in areas like restaurants, boat rentals, bowling alleys and video game stores. However, potential spending is still sluggish in cinema, live theatre and music events.

Where are we spending less?

The decline in education spending continued in November, as did intentions to fork out cash on health and fitness activities and equipment. However, compared to this time last year Aussies have made more room for fitness in their budgets, with the most significant spending happening at bicycle shops and other sporting goods stores.

Travel spending has levelled out, with slight gains or drops seen in specific areas. Holidaymakers are dedicating more cash to camp gear, caravan equipment and stays at holiday parks, but steering clear of airlines, hotels, travel agencies and car rentals. CommBank expects this divide will lessen as confidence increases about state borders remaining open. 

Before you head out on a spending spree, read our guide on how COVID-19 has impacted personal finances in 2020. Then, make sure you’re making the most out of the cash you’re keeping tucked away by comparing your savings account benefits with the options below.

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