Westpac is expecting a bumper Black Friday when sales officially kick off tomorrow, with Aussies expected to spend up big before they are hit with the full force of rising interest rates and inflation next year.
“2023 should see consumers more careful about spending, as the the impact of higher mortgage rates and elevated inflation is felt,” Westpac’s business bank chief economist, Besa Deda, said.
“But before then, consumer spending should hold up, resulting in a busy Black Friday for retailers and consumers.”
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Westpac data revealed Aussies spent 85 per cent more at department stores during the Black Friday sales last year compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Spending increased on electrical applications (up 70 per cent), interior furnishings (up 31 per cent) and clothes (up 16 per cent). Sales at sports and toy stores also increased (54 per cent), while vehicle sales also rose (19 per cent).
Unsurprisingly, Aussies spent less on holidays over the same period, with airline spending down 49 per cent, travel agents down 44 per cent and hotels down 12 per cent. But with travel back on the cards, Westpac is expecting Aussies to fork out more this year.
“The travel industry saw heavy spending declines last year in comparison to 2019 but with borders open and everyone able to visit family and friends as they choose, we expect this segment to significantly rebound this festive season,” Westpac’s commercial banking general manager, Tania Motton, said.
The Australian Retailers Association estimates Aussies will spend a record $6.2 billion over the four-day period - from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - an increase of $200 million from 2021.
A third of Christmas shopping is completed in the first three weeks of November, while around a quarter is done in the Black Friday week alone.