SALES UP AS SHOPPERS FLASH DEBIT CARDS, SURVEY FINDS

Written on the 20 September 2012

SALES UP AS SHOPPERS FLASH DEBIT CARDS, SURVEY FINDS

TIGHT consumer spending has not stopped many Queensland businesses from growing their revenue, according to a new study.

And a growing number of shoppers are also purchasing on debit cards rather than through credit, the study found.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) business sales indicator (BSI) shows sales in the Sunshine State increased 0.1 per cent in August and 10.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

CommSec chief economist and BSI author Craig James confirms Queensland fared better than other states.

Sales fell by 1 per cent in New South Wales, 0.4 per cent in Victoria and 0.1 per cent in Western Australia.

“The soft spending figures are in line with other data showing conservative consumer behaviour, including the fact that the average credit card balance is up by just 0.2 per cent on a year ago and data showing that the use of debit cards continues to surge,” says James.

“It is these sorts of statistics that businesses will be keeping a close eye on in order to understand today’s smart consumer. Those that can adapt and tailor their offers for these individuals are those that will ultimately still perform strongly in this market.”

CBA’s local business-banking acting executive general manager, Gary McGrath, reveals Queensland’s BSI rose for 14 months in-a-row compared to 15 in the Northern Territory, 13 in South Australia and 11 in the Australian Capital Territory.

“[Businesses] need to ensure they are well prepared to continue dealing with a more absent consumer. That includes reviewing their business models and focusing on areas like productivity and efficiency to ensure they can control costs and maintain a healthy balance sheet,” he says.

Spending was strongest at wholesale distributors and manufacturers (up 26.1 per cent), mail order and telephone order (21.8 per cent) and service providers (17.5 per cent).

The weakest sectors were government services (-1.7 per cent), transport and automotive (-1.4 per cent) and airlines.


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