The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this morning released the retail trade data for the month of November.
In seasonally adjusted terms, retail sales fell by -0.1% and rose by only 2.9% year-on-year. Analysts had predicted a rise of 3.0% for the month of November.
Below is a chart summarising the monthly and annual growth rates by industry on a seasonally adjusted basis:
As you can see, other retailing (+1.0%) and cafes, restaurants and take away food (+0.3%) were the only segments to record positive sales growth over the month. By contrast, household goods retailing fell sharply, down -0.9% over the month and by -2.3% over the year.
At the state and territory level, it was a mixed bag, with increases in sales in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT more than offset by falls in the other states and Territories (with the exception of Queensland, where sales were flat). Over the year, Western Australia (+8.6%) continues to dominate retail sales growth, whereas sales growth in Tasmania (-5.0%) and South Australia (-1.0%) are in the doldrums:
In annual terms, retail sales growth is trending down once again following the spike induced by one-off compensation payments for the introduction of the carbon tax:
Viewed in isolation, this release is a very weak result, and shows that there has been minimal pick-up in retail spending following the -1.50% of cuts to official interest rates since November 2011.