Households focus spending on essentials

Worried woman looks at shopping receipt. | Newsreel
Households have focussed spending on food and health. | Photo: iStock

National spending on discretionary items has flatlined, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today.

The ABS said household spending was just 0.1 percent higher than a year ago

ABS Head of Business statistics Robert Ewing said annual spending growth had slowed in recent months.

Mr Ewing said the 0.1 percent rise in May followed a 2.2 percent increase in the 12 months to April.

“We continue to see higher growth in spending on non-discretionary goods and services, compared to discretionary items,” he said.

“Non-discretionary spending rose 1.8 per cent, as households spent more on health services and food compared to the same time last year.”

Mr Ewing said there were a mix of rises and falls across the eight states and territories compared to the same time last year.

He said the largest rises in spending were seen in Queensland, up 2.2 percent, and South Australia, up 0.8 percent.

“These rises were driven by higher spending on health, as well as miscellaneous goods and services which includes child care, professional services and personal care.”

Household spending, current price, calendar adjusted