Financial strain hits all generations in WA – Bankwest

Spending contracted across all generations in October

Financial strain hits all generations in WA – Bankwest


By Mina Martin

Western Australians continued to grapple with escalating financial strain, with cost-of-living pressures appearing to extend beyond Millennials to affect people across all generations, according to a recent Bankwest analysis.

Bankwest’s Spend Trends report, which tracks WA customer credit and debit activity, showed a contraction in spending across generations in October, with the number of unique customers spending falling year-on-year for Millennials (-3.2%), Gen X (-2.5%), and Baby Boomers (-1.7%).

“Bankwest’s Spend Trends data has shown contracting spending for a while, but cost-of-living pressures now seem to be hitting a range of people,” said Peter Bouhlas (pictured above), Bankwest GM of products and digital services.

Millennials, who in general terms are more likely to be carrying greater debt due to the stage of their lives, have shown slowed spending for months, but we’re now seeing declines for Gen X and even Baby Boomers.”

One significant indicator of the cost-of-living pressures is the year-on-year growth in transaction value (7%), significantly outpacing the mere 2% increase in transaction volume. This suggests that people are paying more for the same amount of goods and services.

The financial squeeze experienced by WA households is also evident in the stalling volume of spending, which posted a minimal year-on-year growth of 0.1% for Millennials and 1% for both Gen X and Baby Boomers.

The belt-tightening was underscored by only two out of the 25 tracked sectors recording double-digit year-on-year growth in the number of customers spending. In contrast, 18 sectors either exhibited no growth or experienced decline.

Only travel agencies (20%) and airlines (10%) experienced substantial year-on-year growth, albeit from a relatively low base, while sectors such as electrical appliances (-29%), repair shops (-25%), and department stores (-17%) sharply declined.

On the flip side, 18 out of the 25 sectors experienced year-on-year growth in transaction value, as costs outpaced spending volumes. Sectors such as electrical appliance retailers (+31% in value, -7% in volume), repair shops (+15% in value, -13% in volume), and department Stores (+4% in value, -14% in volume) showcased the biggest disparity between value and volume growth.

“It’s clear from this analysis that cost-of-living pressures are being felt by many, and I urge any customers experiencing financial difficulties to get in touch as soon as possible so we can support their individual needs,” Bouhlas said.

For further details and insights, refer to Bankwest’s official statement.

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