CommBank’s internal debit and credit card spending data to midnight 25 November i.e. Black Friday, revealed there was no extraordinary spike in spending associated with the sales.

Card spending data from Australia’s largest bank is adjusted for seasonality, with Black Friday data for 2022 compared back to 2019 as CommBank considers this a ‘normal’ year pre-COVID. 

The data revealed on a week-to-week basis, spending was up 8% compared to the week prior marking softer results than the 9% per week increase in 2020 and 8.5% increase in 2019. 

Despite remaining on par with levels in 2021, CommBank economist Stephen Wu noted the impact of Black Friday sales remained evident in the bank’s spending data. 

“The weekly increase was driven almost entirely by spending on recreation, clothing and footwear, general retail and household furnishings,” Mr Wu said. 

“By state, spending momentum over the fortnight was strongest in the ACT, NT and QLD.”

ANZ-observed card spending data covering an additional day to CommBank’s data, detailed shoppers embraced the Black Friday sales offsetting the weakness reported by ABS figures released Monday.

ANZ economists David Plank and Madeline Dunk said momentum in key categories like department store purchases, clothing and furniture all outpaced 2019 Black Friday spending.

“Based on previous years, it’s likely we could see a big increase in spending over the Sunday and Cyber Monday,” the economists said. 

“But, so far, it seems like spending is running at par for the course.” 

Similarly to CommBank, ANZ-observed spending data refers to 2019 as a normal year, given 2020 and 2021 spending in October and November were disrupted by post-lockdown spikes.

Aussie consumers rank fourth globally in terms of Black Friday spending 

Global ecommerce platform Shopify revealed Australia ranked fourth globally in terms of retail spending on Black Friday, behind the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. 

Shoppers globally appeared to have these sales front of mind, with Shopify Asia-Pacific & Japan Managing Director Shane Broughton revealing 75% of consumers dropped discretionary spend in the last few months to save for sales. 

“Globally, we saw a record-breaking $4.9 billion [AUD] in sales by Shopify merchants on Black Friday, with Australia ranked fourth in global spending, with an average cart price of $168 per transaction, up on last year’s average of $163," Mr Broughton said. 

Further, buy now pay later provider ZIP revealed Aussies spent the most on Black Friday across JB Hi-Fi, Catch of the Day, Big W and Bunnings Warehouse with an average order of $118. 

CommBank’s Stephen Wu said the boost in sales we see now in late November, reflects consumers bringing forward their spending from December to take advantage of sales over the Black Friday period. 

“Indeed, since 2019 we have seen December retail sales growth print with a negative in seasonally adjusted terms,” he said.


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