The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) has indicated that after six months of decline, spending across the economy was flat in July.

The BSI, which tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank point-of-sale terminals, remained unchanged in trend terms. In annual growth terms, the BSI was sharply lower than a year ago slowing to 1.5 per cent.

According to the Commonwealth Bank, it was the biggest annual decline in six years.

Symon Brewis-Weston, the Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of corporate financial services, said while the results are not stunning it signals a turning point for retail conditions.

“There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for retailers. The improvement in spending, the best result recorded since December last year, indicates we are on the cusp of a stronger second half," Brewis-Weston says.

“While there are signs of improvement consumers are still erring on the side of caution and business investment remains subdued. We’re yet to see consumer confidence translate into expenditure but if conditions continue we should be see an upturn toward the end of the year.”