April 30, 2020

NAB Economics Data Insights, April 2020

Impacts of Coronavirus on consumption based spending and business payment inflows.

During these extraordinary times we have taken the decision to publish aggregated customer data categorised by industry segment with the view of helping to provide clarity around which segments of the economy have been most affected by the broader macroeconomic trends at play. NAB takes data privacy very seriously. All customer transaction data has been aggregated and no individual’s data is specifically identified or analysed as part of this process. The data used in this report will not be sold or made publicly available, but insights from the data will be shared with the Australian people.

Our NAB Economics podcast series continues, Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist has recorded a 10 minute summary to accompany the release of this report.  To listen, just click the link below.


  • NAB data shows dramatic falls in consumption-based spending and business payment inflows post COVID-19 containment measures, with the pace of decline continuing to accelerate quite rapidly across many industries.
  • Spending in the year to date has fallen heavily in all states and territories, with Victoria leading the way. By industry sector, spending is down most in Administration & Support Services, Accommodation & Food Services and Transport, Postal & Warehousing, with Construction the only sector recording growth. A handful of sub-industries have seen spending growth including – Internet Publishing & Broadcasting, Construction Services, Gambling Activities, Food Retailing and Building Cleaning & Pest Control.
  • Business payment inflows into NAB merchants have also fallen sharply. Corporates continue to outperform (particularly compared to medium and small business) and inflows remain positive, but have fallen steeply in April. By industry, the hit to inflows has been most apparent in the Accommodation & Food Services (particularly Clubs, Pubs, Cafes, Restaurants & Takeaway Food) and Arts & Recreation Services (particularly Amusement & Other Activities and Sports & Physical Recreation) – sectors that have borne the brunt of forced business closures and social isolation measures. Inflows are also down heavily in Mining.
  • Inflows are holding up best in Wholesale Trade – the only sector recording growth in inflows. Other industries holding up comparatively well include Health Care & Social Assistance and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, although payment incomes are well down on the previous month.
  • Big falls have also been recorded in parts of Retail including Clothing, Footwear & Personal Accessories, Department Stores and Motor Vehicles. Only two sub-sectors reported positive gains in payment inflows – Specialised Food Retailing and Hardware, Building & Garden Supplies.

For further details, please see NAB Data Insights April Report.

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