January 24, 2024

NAB Economics Monthly Data Insights – December 2023

Our monthly transaction data showed a fall in spending in December.


  • Consumer spending, according to NAB’s transaction data, declined by 0.6% m/m in December. Estimated spending in November was revised up, now showing an increase of 0.9% m/m. Retail spending also declined in December, down 1.0% m/m.
  • Discretionary and non-discretionary spending both declined in the month, though both categories remain higher in three-month average and year-on-year terms.
  • Business credits eased -0.1% m/m in December but were broadly steady when excluding mining and agriculture.

Comments from NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster

“Our monthly transaction data showed a fall in spending in December in seasonally adjusted terms, with a notable fall in retail spending reflecting that Christmas spending has increasingly shifted from December to November.”

“Notably, seasonally adjusted retail spending across the whole October-December period remained 1.2% higher in three month average terms, and was around 4.1% higher than in the same period in 2022.”

“Nonetheless, the soft December spending number is likely a sign that the pressure on consumers resulted in some adjustments to spending behaviour across the Christmas period.”

For further details please see NAB Monthly Data Insights (December 2023)