NAB Monthly Cashless Retail Sales Index: July 2017

The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index is a new product which provides timely proprietary data on a major part of retail spending in Australia.

By

  • The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index was launched in June 2017 and provides timely proprietary data on a major part of retail spending in Australia.
  • The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index shows that the value of cashless retail spending increased at a yearly rate of 7.3% in July (in seasonally adjusted terms), broadly unchanged from the previous month. While the increasing popularity of online and contactless payments has seen Cashless Retail outpace the ABS measure of retail sales in recent years (3.8% y/y in June), growth rates have slowed from a yearly peak of over 12% in late 2015.
  • Within total cashless retail, the yearly growth was strongest in household goods (12.1%) and weakest in department stores (-10.1%). By state, yearly growth in cashless retail was strongest in the ACT (8.8%), NSW (8.3%) and Victoria (8.2%), and weakest in WA (2.2%).
  • The NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index suggests some loss of momentum in June and July, following stronger outcomes in April and May. Based on monthly movements in the NAB cashless spending index and our data mapping techniques, ABS retail trade is expected to increase slightly in seasonally adjusted terms in July.
  • The NAB Cashless Retail Index is broader than the NAB Online Retail Index and measures all cashless retail spending by consumers using debit and credit cards (both in person and online), BPAY and Paypal. The index is derived from personal transaction data from NAB platforms (around 2 million transactions per day) and offers a 2-3 week lead on ABS retail trade data. Cashless sales to consumers have been growing much more rapidly than the ABS measure of retail sales in recent years. Growth rates between the NAB and ABS retail sales measures are likely to converge at some point as the penetration of contactless payment systems reaches a limit (reflecting minimum spend requirements for cashless transactions and the existence of a proportion of merchants who deal only in cash).

For more information, please refer to the attached report or contact: