Rockhampton shoppers spend more than capital city
MOST Rocky shoppers wouldn't know exactly what they fork out $2100 a month on, but Susan Darr knows where she spends every penny.
With her trusty budget book in hand the Norman Gardens pensioner writes down every dollar she spends.
New figures show Rockhampton people are spending much more at the shops than other regional Queenslanders and our Brisbane counterparts.
While economists think this is positive, some residents aren't seeing this as a boost to the economy, but rather a sign we're forking out more for essentials.
According to figures released by the National Australia Bank (NAB), the average monthly Rocky spend per customer for the December quarter was $2101.
This is $125 a month more than the regional average and more than $30 above Brisbane.
The figure represented a 0.7% increase on the previous quarter, providing belief confidence is returning to the region's economy.
Ms Darr said she was surprised we're spending more monthly as she thought supermarket prices "would be the same here as down in Brisbane”.
Despite this, Ms Darr said she believed the price of petrol in the region was one of the reasons we're forking out more than our capital city.
"Petrol is huge, I believe that there's a monopoly here,” Ms Darr said.
"I believe that service stations are owned by a few people or a couple of companies and they put whatever price they want so there's no competition.”
Ms Darr said she has "to be very careful” with her modest pension and meticulously writes down everything she pays for.
"If I shout myself lunch, I'll write that down,” Ms Darr said.
"That's how I have to do it... I don't have enough money to stretch.”
In Gladstone the average monthly spend for the quarter was considerably less than ours at $2001, although they have experienced a negative growth of 3.7%.
Further north in Mackay, shoppers spent $2102 - the area has experienced a growth of 0.9%.
Frenchville woman Julia Fuller said she wasn't surprised by Rocky residents spending more monthly than those in the city due to the remote location.
After paying for essentials, Ms Fuller, who is originally from the UK, said she doesn't have money left to spend on entertainment "because there's not money left over to do it”.
The December quarter data comes as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) yesterday released a report showing confidence in small business had reached a three year high.
CCIQ state manager of advocacy Kate Whittle said Regional Queensland was experiencing increased confidence in economic conditions on the back of a positive Christmas period.
"Regional analysis highlights that while economic conditions continue to be experienced disproportionately across Queensland, the Sales and Revenue Index is strengthening in both south-east and regional Queensland, for the first time since December 2000,” Ms Whittle said.
"While optimism surrounding improved labour market conditions appears to be isolated to south-east Queensland, there is still a significant proportion of regional businesses that indicated an increase in job vacancies across the past three months was driving their confidence in overall economic conditions.”
During the 2016 Christmas period, $0.49 billion was spent in Fitzroy and $0.42 billion in Mackay - $2.75 billion of the $9.2 billion overall for the state came from regional Queensland.