Australian household spending growth decelerated in December, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reporting a modest 2.3% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
“This was the smallest growth in household spending since February 2021,” said Robert Ewing (pictured above), head of business statistics at ABS.
The latest data highlighted a slowdown in growth across eight of the nine spending categories, reflecting the ongoing cost-of-living pressures affecting households.
While non-discretionary spending went up 5.4% due to increased spending on health and transportation, this growth rate remains lower than the 6.2% reported in November.
Additionally, discretionary spending dipped 0.6% compared to the previous year as a result of reduced expenditure on recreation and culture, as well as furnishings and household equipment.
Despite the overall slowdown, household spending rose in every Australian state and territory when compared year-on-year. Western Australia and the Northern Territory experienced the most significant increases, with both seeing a 4.5% rise in spending. South Australia followed with a 2.8% uptick.
However, the growth rate in most states and territories was still lower in December than in November.
South Australia, in particular, saw a significant reduction in its spending growth rate, dropping from 5.4% in November to 2.8% in December, indicating a broad-based deceleration in household spending growth towards the year’s end.
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