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Transport spending accelerates as cost of petrol surges

Polling from the Climate Council has shown that Australians are supportive of fuel efficiency standards.

Polling from the Climate Council has shown that Australians are supportive of fuel efficiency standards. Photo: Getty

Australian households are spending more getting from A to B as the cost of petrol surges and holiday travel picks up.

Household spending as tracked by the Australian Bureau of Statistics lifted 4.8 per cent compared to August last year.

Spending on nice-to-haves was flat, reflecting the high cost of living and interest rate pressures, whereas non-discretionary goods and services lifted 9.1 per cent.

The indicator, which draws on card and bank transaction data, was buoyed by a sharp 17.1 per cent lift in transport spending over the year.

This was compared to a 10.9 per cent lift in the 12 months to July.

ABS head of business statistics Robert Ewing said higher petrol prices as well as spending on holiday travel and public transport contributed to the rise in August.

Rising oil prices and the weakening Australian dollar have been pushing fuel prices higher, with the national average retail petrol price sitting at around $2.10 a litre based on Australian Institute of Petroleum data.

The monthly household spending indicator also recorded an eight per cent lift in health spending over the 12 months.

Spending in cafes and restaurants lifted 6.9 per cent, while food grew by 4.4 per cent.

Less was spent on furnishings and household equipment over the year as well as on alcohol and tobacco.

The ABS also released new trade data for August, which revealed a higher-than-expected surplus of $9.6 billion.

The surplus widened from $7.3 billion in July.

– AAP

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