20 May 2013

Spending rise gives further cheer to Australian businesses

9:52 am on 20 May 2013

The prospects for Australian businesses are looking healthier, with spending across the economy rising for the eighth consecutive month.

Commonwealth Bank's Business Sales Indicator (BSI) found that spending rose 0.5% in trend terms in April, AAP reports.

It was the eight month-on-month increase in a row, with spending up 4.9% in April compared to a year earlier.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said the figures were a good sign consumer confidence was improving.

"The fact is, we've seen consumer spending steadily increase over the past eight months, which is good news for business owners," he said.

However, spending was down 0.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms in April, which the bank said was a more volatile measure.

"Despite the wider economy not travelling at top speed, the latest BSI results certainly indicate business conditions are improving," Mr James said.

South Australia recorded the largest rise in spending (up 1.3%), followed by Western Australia (up 0.7%) and New South Wales (up 0.6%).

The BSI tracks credit and debit card spending across the Commonwealth Bank's point-of-sale terminals.