Australian Retail Sales Slump

Total retail turnover saw a 0.1 percent decline in February, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a rise of 0.4 percent in January this year. Online retail turnover contributed 3.6 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.

Household goods turnover slowed by 0.4 percent, with subsector furniture and homewares falling by a sizeable 2.5 percent, which was surprising given the strong construction industry especially in the eastern states.

Fashion retail saw the biggest stumble however, with clothing falling by 2.9 percent and footwear and personal accessories turnover declining by 1.9 percent.

However offsetting those declines, department stores (08%) and food retail (0.3) percent saw an increase.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in Western Australia (-0.7 per cent), Victoria (-0.3 per cent), Queensland (-0.2 per cent), Tasmania (-0.5 per cent), and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.5 per cent). There were rises in New South Wales (0.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (0.4 per cent), and South Australia (0.1 per cent).

According to new data from ANZ, in conjunction with Roy Morgan, consumer confidence was at its lowest point in the week ending 5th March 2017, since December 2016, down 4.4% and almost entirely reversing the previous week’s gain. “The 4-week moving average now sits at its lowest level since December 2016,” said ANZ in a media statement.

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