Consumer Payment Card News

Trend Continues as Australian Credit Card Balance & Usage Literally Down Under Again

The amount Australians owe declined 2.1% year-on-year (YOY) in January, compared to a YOY decline of 1.9% YOY in December, according to data on Australian credit card balance and usage released today by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Australian Credit Card Balance & Spending

The amount of purchases slipped 4.8% YOY in January, compared to a 1.2% YOY drop in the prior month, according to figures collected by CardData.

Australian Debt & Economy

Analysis by RAM Research reveals the average credit card balance per account has edged up from AU$3088 one-year ago to AU$3182 for January 2019. The average amount of purchases made with a credit card rose slightly to AU$1638 per account for January 2019, compared to AU$1634 for January 2018.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence index notes 29% of Australians says they are “better off” in mid-March, compared to 33% in early mid-February. About 27% of Aussies say they are “worse off over the same period. However, improvements in sentiment toward current economic conditions were not strong enough to offset falls in the future sentiment of economic conditions.

Australian Consumer Credit

Australian credit card outstandings, or debt, declined 2.1% YOY to AU$50.5 billion in January, compared to AU$51.9 billion for December and AU$51.6 billion for January 2018.

Australian credit card credit limits, declined 1.1% YOY to AU$151.4 billion in January, compared to AU$151.7 billion for December, and AU$153.1 billion for January 2018.

Australian Credit Card Usage

Purchase dollar volume (PDV), or the amount of purchases charged to credit cards, decreased 4.8% YOY in January to AU$26.0 billion. For December, credit card PDV reported as AU$28.9 billion and for January 2018 posted as AU$27.3 billion.

Meanwhile, cash dollar volume (CDV), or cash advances taken with a credit card, dropped 19.8% YOY to AU$648 million in January, compared to AU$654 million in December and AU$808 million for January 2018.

Overall, Australian credit card gross dollar volume (GDV), or the sum of PDV and CDV, dipped 2.6% YOY in January, driven by the slump in CDV. For January GDV was AU$26.6 billion, compared to AU$29.5 billion in December, and AU$27.3 billion for January 2018.

The number of credit and charge card accounts edged down 4.9% YOY in January to 15.89 million, compared to 15.91 million in the prior month, and compared to 16.71 million one-year ago.

Compared to U.K. and U.S.A.

U.K. card lending gravitates down in early 2029. Based on consumer credit statistics released by the Bank of England (BOE), annual consumer credit growth slowed to a 6.5% annual gain (YOY) in January, compared to 6.6% YOY in December, and 9.4% YOY one-year ago. The monthly flow of consumer credit was marginally higher in January than the recent average says the BOE, according to CardTrak.

U.S. revolving consumer debt, mostly credit card debt (97%), remained above the $1 trillion level for the seventh consecutive quarter. However, the year-over-year change in U.S. consumer debt growth, is powering down with the start of first quarter, extending the weakening trend experienced throughout 2018. The year-on-year (YOY) growth rate of consumer revolving debt for January came in at 2.9%, compared to a revised 6.1% YOY change for the final three months of 2018, and a revised 3.1% YOY gain for all of 2018, according to CardTrak.

Australian Consumer Credit Card Outstandings

Jan 2017: AU$51.5 billion
Jan 2018: AU$51.6 billion
Jan 2019: AU$50.5 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Outstandings

Australian Consumer Credit Card Credit Limits

Jan 2017: AU$151.5 billion
Jan 2018: AU$153.1 billion
Jan 2019: AU$151.4 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Credit Limits

Australian Consumer Credit Card Purchase Volume

Jan 2017: AU$24.6 billion
Jan 2018: AU$27.3 billion
Jan 2019: AU$26.0 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Purchase Volume

Australian Consumer Credit Card Cash Advances

Jan 2017: AU$782 million
Jan 2018: AU$808 million
Jan 2019: AU$648 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Cash Advances

Australian Consumer Credit Card Gross Dollar Volume

Jan 2017: AU$28.0 billion
Jan 2018: AU$27.3 billion
Jan 2019: AU$26.6 billion

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Gross Volume

Australian Consumer Credit/Charge Card Accounts

Jan 2017: 16.70 million
Jan 2018: 16.71 million
Jan 2019: 15.89 million

Additional Current & Historical Monthly Australian Credit Card Accounts

Source: Reserve Bank of Australia; CardData; RAM Research; Bank of England; ANZ Roy Morgan