NAB Economics Data Insights – week ending 12 March 2022

Overall, 2022 continues to outperform 2021 and even pre-pandemic 2019.

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NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster commented

  • Our latest weekly consumer tracking data to 12 March shows a sizeable drop in spending over the past two weeks compared to the previous four. While the decline appears substantial, we remain of the view that underlying trends are still broadly encouraging. We see the decline driven by essentially three factors: technical parameters around seasonality from February to March; flooding in large areas of eastern Australia; and heightened covid concerns in Western Australia, which is only now experiencing its first major outbreak.
  • While the floods caused major damage in parts of Queensland and New South Wales, their impact on the overall series is already passing. Queensland spending increased last week (from a flood-induced low the week prior) and New South Wales spending remained similar to other eastern states. Likewise, while Western Australian consumers remain anxious with omicron circulating, we expect their behaviour to essentially follow those of eastern states, where consumption bounced back as cases fell.
  • Overall, our seasonally adjusted consumption series stood at 132.2 for the week ending 12 March 2022, using a 2019 base. This was a decline from the week prior (135.6). Retail stood at 131.2 last week, slightly higher than the week prior (129.9) but below the levels seen in February. Hospitality recovered slightly from a large drop at the start of the month, standing at 119.4 compared to 114.1 the week prior. The hospitality index is now basically level with the same time in 2021 (120.0).
  • Our total inward credits data declined last week, albeit from a very strong print the week prior. Overall, 2022 continues to outperform 2021 and even pre-pandemic 2019.

For further details please see NAB Data Insights (week ending 12 March 2022)

*During these extraordinary times, NAB has taken the decision to publish aggregated customer data categorised by industry segment with the view to helping 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.