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Shoppers are heading back to the nation’s malls, with data showing a lift in spending on clothes, beauty products and haircuts in response to the easing of coronavirus lockdowns across the country.

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Figures collated by ANZ and Commonwealth Bank from their debit and credit cards show the advent of winter has prompted consumers to get off their lounges and down to the local shops for some retail therapy.

ANZ reported that in the week to May 22, personal spending was in positive territory year-on-year driven by strong growth in the services and grocery sector.

Senior economists Adelaide Timbrell and David Plank said although the figures might be affected by many businesses requiring customers to use cards rather than cash, there was a clear improvement in shopping activity.

They said it appeared some consumers were tapping into their “household travel budget”, which, because of state and international border bans, had remained unused over recent months.

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