NSW and Victorian residents particularly took advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, with credit card spending peaking at 59% and 53% consecutively.

This recent credit card spending is up when compared to consumer spending during lockdown periods.

Freedom Day saw also an uptick in travel, dining, and personal services like nail salons and hairdressers in Sydney and Melbourne as restrictions eased.

Choong Yu Lum, Head of Cards and Loans at Citi Australia, said many people enjoyed the reopening of pubs, clubs and restaurants just in time for the festive season.

"As Australia opened up once again in October, following another extended lockdown period, it was pleasing to see a sharp uptick in consumer spending, providing a much-needed boost to the economy, especially in the hardest-hit sectors, like travel and non-essential retail," Mr Lum said.

Mr Lum said that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales drove a 'significant' increase in consumer spending.

"Credit card spend [was] up 70% on Cyber Monday compared to typical Monday sales activity during the lockdown period," Mr Lum said.

"Department stores, traditional retail, and e-commerce benefited the most from this surge."

Strong credit card spending anticipated as Christmas creeps closer

With Christmas only three sleeps away, Mr Lum said rising consumer spending is expected to continue as more people plan to take advantage of the upcoming sales.

Backing this sentiment is new research from CommBank which revealed Aussies are planning to spend a combined $4 billion during Boxing Day sales this year - or an average of $557 each - which is up 14% from last year.

"With Queensland and Tasmanian borders reopening and school holidays in full swing, we anticipate that positive consumer sentiment will continue to rise as families take the opportunity to relax, reconnect, and explore regional and interstate areas," Mr Lum said.

"However, it remains to be seen if new COVID-19 variants and the rise in case numbers will extend restrictions in some states, which may result in a decrease in spending."

Image by Blake Wisz on Unsplash