The CommBank Household Spending Intentions (HIS) Index for November 2021 is at its highest level since December 2019.

The index rose 2.1% during November to 110.3, driven by solid gains in spending on transport, travel retail and household services.

Retail spending has increased 21% since the low point in August, with the largest gains in department stores, clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances, jewellery, and pet products.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia chief economist, Stephen Halmarick said the data pointed to a continued recovery in the economy following extended periods of lockdown faced by many Australians.

“The CommBank HSI Index has shown a continued and broad recovery in consumer spending since the end of lockdowns. While we have seen sharp increases in categories like transport and travel, there is still plenty of room for further growth,” he said.

“Australians have grown their savings to record levels during the pandemic. CBA estimates households have accumulated approximately $240 billion in excess savings, money that is ready to be spent as we head into Christmas and the signs are good for robust retail sales during this period.”