NAB Customer Spending Behaviours: Q3 2018

Total NAB customer spending grew 7.0% y/y in Q3 2018 – up from 5.6% in the previous quarter and 3.0% in the same quarter a year ago.

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Spending grew faster in metropolitan than regional areas (with this pattern repeated in all states bar QLD and the NT). Compared to a year ago, spending rebounded strongly in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra. In the regions, WA and the NT were also much stronger.

The fastest growing metro local government area in Australia was North Sydney NSW, followed by Hobart TAS and Hunters Hill NSW. Of the top 20 metro regions, 8 were in NSW. Roxby Downs SA led the way in regional Australia, then Mansfield VIC and Mid-Western Regional NSW. SA had the highest number of fast growing regional areas (6 of the top 20).

Average monthly spending was higher in metro areas ($2,255) than in the regions ($2,021). Metro spending was again highest in Sydney ($2,341) and Melbourne ($2,306), while WA ($2,144) and QLD ($2,039) continued to lead the way in regional areas.

By category, Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (12.8%) replaced Accommodation & Food Services (12.0%) as the fastest growing area of customer spending, with  spending on Wholesale Trade (-1.0%) and Construction (-0.3%) the weakest.

Highlights:

  • What does this report measure? It measures the spending patterns of our customers*. By examining around 2.7 million daily transactions, it shows where spending is growing fastest and what customers are spending on. Given the size of NAB’s customer base, it provides an indication of national and regional trends.
  • Is spending growing? Total NAB customer spending grew by 7.0 in Q3 2018 (up from 5.6% y/y in Q2 2018 and 3.0% in Q3 2017). Spending in metropolitan areas grew 7.5% (5.9% in Q2 2018 & 2.4% in Q3 2017), ahead of a 6.2% increase in regional areas (5.1% in Q2 2018 & 4.2% in Q3 2017).
  • Where is spending growing fastest in capital city areas? Spending grew in all capital city metro areas in Q3 2018. The rate of growth was faster than in the previous quarter and relative to same period last year in all cities bar Darwin. Growth in Q3 was fastest in Hobart (8.9%), Melbourne (8.2%), Sydney (7.8%), the ACT (7.6%), Adelaide (7.4%) and Perth (7.4%). It was slowest in Darwin (2.3%) and Brisbane (5.7%).
  • What about in regional areas? Regional spending accelerated in all states relative to Q2 2018 (except in SA and TAS). Against the same period last year however growth was faster in all states. Regional spending growth in Q3 was equal fastest in WA (8.2%) and the NT (8.2%), followed by VIC (7.1%) and SA (6.8%). It was slowest in TAS (4.6%), NSW (5.5%) and QLD (6.0%).
  • How much are we spending? Average monthly spending in metro areas was $2,255 in Q3 2018, up from $2,206 in Q2 2018 and $2,140 in Q3 2017. In regional areas, spending was $2,021, up from $1,992 in Q2 2018 and $1,985 in Q3 2017. Average monthly spending was higher in metro areas than in regional areas in all states.
  • Who’s spending the most in metro areas? Sydney ($2,341) and Melbourne ($2,306) again led the way, followed by ACT ($2,192), Perth ($2,165), Brisbane ($2,164) and Adelaide ($2,124). Spending was lowest in Darwin ($1,970) and Hobart ($2,098).
  • What about in regional areas? Average monthly customer spending was highest in WA ($2,144), QLD ($2,039), NSW ($2,031), VIC ($1,976) and SA ($1,930). It was lowest in the NT ($1,618) and TAS ($1,912).
  • In what category did spending grow fastest? Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (12.8%) replaced Accommodation & Food Services (12.0%) as the fastest growing area of customer spending, followed by Arts & Recreation (9.8%) and Transport, Postal & Warehousing (8.5%). Spending was weakest for Wholesale Trade (-1.0%) and Construction (-0.3%).

For further details, please see the attached document: