WA residents' spending patterns back on track

Find out which areas have had a boost…

WA residents' spending patterns back on track


By Jayden Fennell

Bankwest has revealed Western Australians are embracing a new sense of “normal” when it comes to their spending habits.

Bankwest has released its latest Spend Trends Report, which shows that people are returning to a “normal” way of life. The bank looked at Western Australian customers’ credit and debit transactions for the month of September and tracked month-on-month and year-on-year spending trends to provide insights into the state’s response to changing economic conditions.

“The data we collected signalled that Western Australians were continuing with discretionary spending with increases across several non-essential sectors, while there was evidence more people were heading back overseas and outdoors,” said Bankwest general manager everyday banking Philippa Costanzo (pictured above).

“Bankwest’s Spend Trends series has long tracked the recovery of the travel sector, with Western Australians returning to the skies in droves, but September’s data suggested they were doing so for overseas trips.”

Costanzo said the number of customers making airline transactions and the volume of transactions fell month-on-month, however the value of transactions grew 7%, indicating fewer travellers were making more expensive trips.

“That was supported by spending activity at travel agents with the number of customers transacting with holiday consultants and the volume of those transactions both increasing month-on-month by 8%,” she said.

“There were also signs Western Australians were embracing the warm weather and return to normality after two years of pandemic uncertainty, with increases in spending activity in clothing stores (up 9%) and recreation (including live music, sport and events, movie theatres and bowling rose 5%).”

Costanzo said spring, combined with public and school holidays, also resulted in work around the house with a lift month-on-month in those spending at hardware stores (8%), the volume of transactions (8%) and the value of spending (3%).

“The impact of the Western Australian government’s electricity credit for households was also apparent, with the value of transactions year-on-year falling by 5%, despite the volume of transactions increasing by 12%,” she said.

“Electrical appliance retailers with spend value year-on-year reported a 20% boom, despite the number of people spending (-15%) and transaction volume (-23%) falling. The conflict in Ukraine continued to apply pressure to fuel costs, with the value of transactions at service stations soaring 14% year-on-year.”

Costanzo said the world was in a unique situation now as it grappled with economic uncertainty at the same time as emerging from an unprecedented scenario.

“Western Australians and those around the world have endured more than two years of life that no-one saw coming, so as we come to the end of that period, it makes sense that people are spending and travelling. It also comes at a time of increased financial challenge for households with rising interest rates, supply-chain interruptions and inflationary pressures putting strain on hip pockets,” she said.

“We know that those who had the capacity to save did so at an unprecedented rate during the low-rate and low-spending environment of the past two years, but there are also those who will find the current climate challenging.

“We encourage customers who think they might require support to get in touch and to use this time to work through their financial situation, as we believe challenging economic times will remain for a while.”

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!