Australians have started spending again on dining out, according to analysis of two sets of data.
Macquarie analysts say the latest ANZ data on credit cards and ABS shows a shift from grocery spending to dining out as the economy reopens.
âBuying trends are still ahead of pre-pandemic levels, with less emphasis on electronics as social categories such as clothing improve,â they write in a note to customers.
ANZ credit card spending data as of May 3 shows grocery sales slowed after COVID, but still about 18% above April 20219 levels.
âClearly, there has been a shift towards restaurants and cafes, reinforced by the easing of restrictions and NSW Dine & Discover vouchers,â analysts say.
ANZ data suggests people eat more in restaurants, up around 16% in April from April 2021, with the latest ABS data from March also showing a strong recovery but not yet reflecting the positive impact of NSW Dine & Discover vouchers.
Macquarie says the shopping mix has also changed, with less emphasis on electronics and more on clothing.
ANZ credit card data shows electronics spending has slowed from November’s Black Friday highs, closer to levels at the start of the pandemic.
However, it remains well ahead of 2018-19 levels with April of around 36% above the same month in 2019.
Consumer confidence is also showing buy signals.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Confidence Score increased from 0.8 to 112.5 (the long-term average since 1990 is 112.6).
Last week, the measure of whether it was the âright time to buy an important household itemâ climbed to a 15-month high of 22.5 points.
CommSec analysts say consumer sentiment, as measured by ANZ and Roy Morgan, has been volatile in recent weeks.
âThe sentiment gauge fell 1% in early May amid concerns about a virus outbreak in Sydney.
âBut consumers were more shredded last week with the index up 0.8% after the release of the federal budget. ANZ economists also reported that confidence in Sydney rose 5.4% as no new community cases of COVID-19 were reported with the easing of government restrictions.
âIn general, consumer confidence and retail spending intentions increase as mobility increases. And a few âsweetenersâ in the federal budget have also likely fueled optimism. “
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