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Spending surges for eight consecutive months: report

Economy-wide spending grew for the eight-straight month in March, according to an industry survey.

The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) rose by 0.8% in March, after rising 0.9% in February, and increases in the two previous months.

In seasonally-adjusted terms the BSI is now 4.1% above the March 2011 result – the strongest annual growth in two years.

The strongest monthly trend increase in sales occurred in the wholesale distribution and manufacture sector (up 1.8%), followed by the amusement and entertainment (up 1.4%) and utilities and contracted services (both up 1.3%).

The weakest sector in March was hotels and motels, down by 0.3%, for a ninth consecutive decline.

In annual terms, the strongest growth was in South Australia (up 8.4%), followed by the ACT (up 6.4%), and Queensland (up 6.2%). In contrast, spending in NSW was 1.3% lower than a year ago.

The Commonwealth BSI is obtained by tracking the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank merchants.

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