Despite the mild 0.2% lift in spending in August, in comparison to 0.4% growth in July and 0.5% in June, the Australian economy is still in good shape and continuing to grow, according to CommSec chief economist and author of the BSI report, Craig James.

commsec craig james

Annual growth of spending eased for the third month to 6.6%, above the decade-average of 5.1%, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI).

“While the initial boost in business spending following the last Federal budget has tapered off, annual growth figures show that economy-wide spending remains above the decade average. Interest rates are low, the job market shows signs of settling and home building is underpinning spending across the economy.

“Additionally, Australian businesses have reasons for optimism given a lower Aussie dollar and budget stimulus measures for the small business sector,” James said.

The more volatile seasonally adjusted measure of the BSI fell 1.0% in August – the second fall in six months – while annual growth eased from 7.3% to 5.6%.

Sales rose in all states and territories in August except the Northern Territory (down 0.5%) and Victoria (down 0.1%). Tasmania recorded the highest growth (up 0.8%), followed by South Australia (up 0.7%), Western Australia (up 0.5%), Queensland (up 0.4%), and the Australian Capital Territory (up 0.1%), while New South Wales recorded flat sales.