Here's what the average Australian spends in a month

Cameron Spencer/ Getty Images.Opportunity cost.
  • Australians are spending more every month, at least among those who bank with the National Australia Bank (NAB).
  • Average spend per customer per month in metropolitan areas rose to $2,206 in the June quarter. In regional areas, average spend rose to $1,992.
  • Nationwide, average spending levels increased 5.6% from a year earlier.

Australians spent more in the June quarter than what they did earlier in the first three months of the year, at least among those who bank with the National Australia Bank (NAB).

According to the bank’s latest customer spending report, average spend per customer per month in metropolitan areas rose to $2,206 last quarter, up from $2,150 in the first three months of the year and $2,064 in the same quarter a year ago.

“Average monthly spending was highest in Sydney ($2,286) ahead of Melbourne ($2,258) and the ACT ($2,148),” the NAB said.

“Perth was next ($2,122), followed by Brisbane ($2,112), Adelaide ($2,080), Hobart ($2,050) and Darwin ($1,965).”

All figures were higher than the levels reported in the March quarter. With the exception of Adelaide, average spend per customer also increased in all capitals from a year earlier.

Similar trends were also evident in regional areas with average spend per customer lifting to $1,992 per month during the June quarter, higher than the $1,947 average in early 2018 and $1,918 spent in the June quarter of 2017.

This map from the NAB has all the details of spending patterns seen during the quarter. In absolute terms, spending levels nationally increased 5.6% in the year to June, slower than the 6.8% increase reported in the 12 months to March.

NAB

The modest improvement in average spending growth over the year partially reflects a pickup in household incomes as a result of stronger labour market conditions, a continued decline in the proportion of money being saved and, of course, inflation.

This next table from the NAB shows the breakdown in spending growth by category over the past year.

NAB

And this shows annual spending growth by category broken down by age group, revealing the fastest growth across the vast majority of categories was seen among younger Australians.

NAB

For clarity purposes, the NAB says the report measures both online and offline transactions. It is based on where the customer lives, rather than where the actual spending activity occurs.

Importantly, it does not include spending on government services, tax payments, mortgage and other credit facility repayments.

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