Retail, restaurants and travel categories have been some of the top spend segments for the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest Citi credit card index data, indicating a rebound in consumer confidence and strong sentiment in February and March.

In February and March, households goods retailing was the second most popular category, only behind supermarkets, with 7.6% and 7.4% share of spend respectively.

Demand for Citi credit cards in February was at its strongest level since March 2020 when the full impact of Covid and global lockdowns were felt.

“This demand indicates that credit cards remain a preferred way to pay and that the rewards and incentives we are offering our customers are resonating,” Citi Australia head of cards and loans, Choong-Yu Lum said.

“Consumer confidence and spend is strong but with global volatility high and cost of living rising, it will be interesting to see the trends emerging over the next quarter of 2022. Despite rising costs of living, consumers have amassed record savings during the Covid period, so we believe confidence will remain strong. However, consumers will be more financially savvy with what they buy and how they pay.”