Australians are spending on average nearly $600 less online than they were a year ago, according to the latest Digital Economy Index from global financial platform, Airwallex.

The Airwallex Index records year-to-date spending per adult, as well as quarter-by-quarter snapshots of the digital economy by state and industry. The latest Index highlighted green shoots in online spending in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, despite a nationwide dip of 1.82% worth $523.3 million for Q2 this year compared to Q2 2022.

Online spending is estimated to have dropped $587 per adult across the 12-month period up to and including Q2 2023, compared to Q2 2022.

Meanwhile, New South Wales reported an overall decline in revenue turnover compared to last year (-7.93%) driven by a steep drop in online subscriptions (-17.75%) and travel spending (-9.15%). However, digital travel businesses have seen a rebound compared to Q1 this year (+15.11%).

South Australia had the worst performing digital economy this quarter, according to the Index, with online spending shrinking 16.77% and declines recorded across all industries in the digital economy for both time periods.

Airwallex director of strategy for Australia and New Zealand, Amelia Hamer (pictured) said the Index showed the spending downturn was uneven across the country as different parts of Australia felt the effects of the broader uncertain economic environment.

“Across the digital economy, we see Australians are holding back on their discretionary spending. As interest rates have climbed and cost-of-living pressures have increased, it’s no surprise Australians are being more selective about where they spend online,” she said.

“We see several bright spots in Australia’s digital economy, with the technology, education and travel sectors seeing the most upside. There are still lingering effects of the travel bounceback post-COVID in this data, with the surge in online travel particularly benefitting destinations like QLD, TAS and WA.

“However, the data shows that NSW is bearing the brunt of the change in how Australians are spending their money online. This downturn is something we’re seeing in the quarter-by-quarter comparisons in other states too.”