Christmas comes early as retail spending grows 5% year-on-year in November

Australian retail sales increased 5% in November compared to the same time last year, according to the latest Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.

 Most retail categories continued to record significant year on year sales growth as we cycle the impact of the 2021 Omicron wave. Lodging recorded the biggest increase in trade in November, up 21% compared to 12 months prior, followed by Grocery (up 10.3%), Restaurants (up 8.9%), Apparel (up 8.6%), Fuel and Convenience (up 4.8%) and Electronics (up 2.6%). There were year-on-year falls for Home Furnishings (down 4.1%) and Jewellery (down 1.2%) off an elevated level of sales in the previous year due to the pandemic.

 Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the results confirm that Christmas continues to come earlier for retailers with consumers motivated to get in ahead of price increases and to avoid supply chain disruptions.

 “Whilst we’ve seen the overall year-on-year sales growth slow, these remain really pleasing results in a challenging economic environment. The growth is driven by a host of factors including the incredible growth in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in Australia; price increases are also a factor which are also driving Australians to spend to get in ahead of inflation.

 “After a couple of years of hibernation, we can see Australians are taking advantage of hospitality venues- flocking back to restaurants, enjoying home entertainment and domestic travel after the impact of lockdowns last year.

 “The ARA expects this to be the biggest Christmas on record for Australia, with Aussies predicted to spend $66 billion in the Christmas trading period – up 6.4% on last year’s spending according to our ARA holiday sales predictions with Roy Morgan. Moving into next year, we do expect things to slow down – with a lag effect likely to the impact of inflation on retail spending.

 “We acknowledge that it remains a challenging environment for businesses particularly small businesses on tighter margins, as they continue to battle rising operating costs associated with fuel, energy, labour, supply chains and rent,” Mr Zahra said.

Mastercard SpendingPulse November 2022


November 2022 vs November 2021

(Year on Year)

November 2022 vs November 2019

(3 years ago – pre-pandemic)







Fuel and Convenience






Home Furnishings












Mastercard SpendingPulse™ reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. As such, SpendingPulse™ insights do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual Mastercard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.


Media Enquiries:

M 0434 381 670


About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse national retail body, representing a $400 billion sector that employs 1.3 million Australians and is the largest private sector employer in the country. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 120,000 retail shop fronts and online stores, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies our independent, national and international retail community. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive member benefits and more, visit




Sexual harassment rife in retail work

Sexual harassment is pervasive and persistent in retail work, with young women most at risk, as revealed in a new report by researchers from the Australian Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusion @ Work published by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS). Up to half of women and

Read More »