Consumer sentiment remains high

The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday released figures showing total credit card debt at an all time high of $40 billion. Credit card spending is typically driven by retail purchases, rather than cash advances, and over the previous year in May there has been a 4.8 per cent decline in cash advances, from $1.135 billion to $1.086 billion. Consumer spending in the month of May continued to increase at relatively high levels, despite signs of a slowdown, with card purchases rising 6.2 per cent to a total value of $16.35 billion. Average debt was also reported to have risen by 7.2 per cent, to $2,990. CommSec economist Martin Arnold said “With the jobs market so robust and household income rising, we're going to see continued strength in consumer spending.”