Western Australian Millennials have continued to face the frontline of the cost-of-living crunch, reining in spending across the board at a faster rate than the two other primary transacting generations of Baby Boomers and Gen X.
Bankwest’s Spend Trends report tracks WA customer credit and debit activity to identify insights into community responses to economic conditions, with September’s results showing Millennial transaction volumes flatlining.
The volume of transactions conducted by WA’s Millennials barely moved year-on-year at 0.2 per cent, compared to increased spending trends from the older Gen X (1.7%) and Baby Boomer (4.0%) generations.
The number of Millennials transacting year-on-year also declined steeper than other generations, with 5.2 per cent fewer people spending compared with the same time in 2022, leading falls for Gen X (-4.6%) and Boomers (-3.3%).
The cost-of-living strain facing Millennials was reflected in the year-on-year transaction value figures, which grew by 8.6 per cent, despite the stagnated volume of transactions and decline in the number of customers spending.
The contrast indicates Millennials were reining in spending more than Boomers and Gen X, but still paying almost 10 per cent more on average for the same volume of transactions than they were a year ago.
The figures also suggested Millennials were, as a whole, standing alone in the economic headwinds, with their year-on-year figures contracting each month, while Gen X and Boomers grew compared to August’s Spend Trends data.
Gen X’s year-on-year transaction volumes grew from 1.1 per cent in August to 1.7 per cent in September, while Boomers grew from 2.8 per cent to 4 per cent – indicating both generations were on a trend of increased spending.
Conversely, Millennials declined from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent – indicating a trend of decreased spending.
There was a silver lining in the data in the disparity between the growth in the average value and the volume of transactions, which has been an indicator of cost-of-living pressures throughout Bankwest’s Spend Trends series.
The disparity across the 25 sectors analysed averaged at just six per cent, with zero being an indicator of equitable rise between the value and volume of transactions, with the travel industry leading the declining costs.
The volume of transactions at Travel Agencies year-on-year grew 28 per cent, while the average transaction value remained unchanged from 2022, and Airline volumes increased six per cent and fell by the same number in value.
Bankwest General Manager Products and Digital Services Peter Bouhlas said: “Bankwest’s Spend Trends data has shown a consistent trend recently of young Western Australians facing into the pressures of economic headwinds.
“That makes sense when considering Millennials would more likely have higher levels of debt relative to income, compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers, both of whom the figures suggest are less affected by current conditions.
“However, while older Western Australians appear less affected, the Spend Trends data shows that fewer Gen X and Baby Boomers are spending compared to a year ago, indicating there are still pressures being felt by some.
“The disparity between declining or slowing volumes of transactions and the average value of transactions will undoubtedly be weighing on many people in the community, as they face having to pay more for the same or less.
“We know that all customers will experience cost-of-living pressures differently and we urge any customers concerned about their financial situation to get in touch with us as soon as possible, so we can work with them.”