While the result was better than the ABS' preliminary figures of -1.5%, they represent a continual fall of 4% from August's figures in seasonally adjusted terms.

Openpay's head of retail Sonia Nixon said consumers will think of "smarter" ways to spend money in the lead up to Christmas.

"What we are likely to see between now and Christmas is consumers finding smarter ways to manage their finances around the holiday season, such as making the most of Black Friday sales or using flexible payment plans to spread the cost into 2021," she said.

"Between now and the end of the year we anticipate this upward trajectory translating into sales growth as the lifting of lockdowns in Victoria breathe fresh life into the state’s retail sector and we approach peak trade nationwide."

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features introductory and ongoing savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Update resultsUpdate
BankSavings AccountBase Interest Rate Max Interest Rate Total Interest Earned Introductory Term Minimum Amount Maximum Amount Minimum Monthly Deposit Minimum Opening Deposit ATM Access Joint Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
4.40% p.a.
5.75% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 4.40% p.a.
$980
4 months
$0
$250,000
$0
$0
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
0.55% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.95%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$1,128
$0
$100,000
$1,000
$0
1.20% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.20%
Conditions apply.
5.40% p.a.
$1,107
$0
$250,000
$1,000
$0
Featured
  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money
4.75% p.a.
5.35% p.a.
Intro rate for 4 months
then 4.75% p.a.
$1,001
4 months
$0
$249,999
$0
$0
Featured
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
0.50% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.85%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$1,097
$1
$50,000
$500
$1
  • Maximum Age - 24
0.10% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.00%
Conditions apply.
5.10% p.a.
$1,044
$0
$250,000
$200
$0
Featured No monthly fees
  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 4.95%
Conditions apply.
5.00% p.a.
$1,023
$1
$250,000
$20
$0
  • No fees or penalties for withdrawing money
  • Savings guaranteed up to $250,000
  • Maximise your savings and reach your goals faster with Auto-Savings
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.45%
Conditions apply.
5.50% p.a.
$1,128
$0
$50,000
$1,000
$0
For customers aged 14-35 years
0.05% p.a.
Bonus rate of 5.30%
Conditions apply.
5.35% p.a.
$1,097
$0
$250,000
$1,000
$0
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Retail trade throughout the pandemic has been extremely volatile, with figures surging to all-time highs in April off the back of grocery panic buying.

September's figures might point to a stabilisation of the industry, with quarterly retail figures up 6.5%.

ABS' director of quarterly economy-wide surveys Ben James said some retail areas are trading at elevated levels compared to September 2019.

"Falls in the September month were led by household goods retailing (-3.6%), and food retailing (-1.5%)," he said.

"The quarterly rise was driven by a recovery in industries that saw sharp falls in the June quarter 2020, as well as continued strength in industries such as food retailing, other retailing and household goods."

Other data also indicates spending is back to pre-COVID levels.

Ms Nixon pointed to now being an opportune time for retailers.

"Retailers that are responsive to this will make the most of these key retail events and drive strong brand loyalty in the long term," she said.





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