Retail Stocks Dip After August Slowdown

Several major retailers saw its shares lose ground following Thursday’s Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail sales figures which saw unexpected sales decline in August.

The ABS reported a 0.6% fall in Australian retail turnover for August, compared with the prior month, the largest decline since March 2013 which had a 0.3% month-on-month improvement.

Following the release, JB Hi-Fi saw a 2% drop in share value to trade at $22.53, while Myer Holdings also saw its stocks weaken by 2% to $0.755.

While some analysts have been surprised by the retail sales slump in August, analysts at ANZ say they were not shocked to see the retail sales figures fall, “given households are facing several headwinds, including record low wage growth, record levels of debt, slowing house price growth, and, importantly, sharply higher energy bills”.

Westpac analysts say that this spells a gloomy outlook for the third quarter which is “unlikely to look good”, pointing to “significant downside risks to the Q3 consumption figures in the national accounts and wider GDP growth.”

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