Australians slowly raising their spending: Report

January 20th, 2012 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 20 (IANS) Consumers in Australia are continuing to cautiously increase their appetite for spending, according to the Commonwealth Bank’s Business Sales Indicator (BSI) report released Friday.

The bank’s December BSI report showed an increase of 0.2 percent in economy-wide spending for the month of December 2011, reported Xinhua.

The best-performing sectors were mail order and telephone order providers, up 3.3 percent, followed by clothing stores, up 1.7 percent.

Other strong performers for December were the amusement and entertainment sector and retail stores, which both increased by 1.3 percent.

The BSI is a key measure of economy-wide spending, reflecting Australia’s spending trends. It tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed at businesses with Commonwealth Bank merchant facilities.

The bank analysts said that the December results showed a continuing recovery in economy-wide spending, although consumers in Australia were continuing to spend cautiously.

“We’ve continued to see momentum in the data and a more sustained growth in sales across the country over the latter half of 2011,” said Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank’s executive general manager of Local Business Banking.

The bank’s subsidiary Commonwealth Securities chief economist Craig James said the figures suggested economy-wide recovery was continuing.

“A positive mood has prevailed over the early days of 2012 and if the optimism is maintained then retailers are set for a better year,” James said.

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