In-credible retail falls

ABS June retail sales are out and it’s more of the same with the seasonally adjusted estimate falling 0.1%. This follows a fall of 0.6% in May 2011 and a rise of 1.0% in April 2011.

On to the charts. The first shows that the result was a big miss versus market expectations, God only knows why. Perhaps because, as Adam Carr reasoned today, “nothing other than a very strong result will be credible”.

So, here’s your incredible result:

Next up is the state by state mix and it’s party time in WA and the NT but the rest of us aren’t invited. At least the Eastern states are a little less depressed than in May.

The trend for year on year trend growth is still very clearly down:

The next two charts break down the sector into its components and, as you can see, food did better, as did the supposedly Dutch disease ravaged clothing sector. For Gerry Harvey and Paul Zahra the news is poor and deteriorating. Eating out took a dive too:

That brings us to the quarterly ABS retail sales report also released today, which shows inflation adjusted sales, which still look awfully sad:

Especially when viewed over the long term. That’s a pretty dire twelve months at the end and no surprise that it’s best matched by the last time Australia experienced a housing shakeout in 2004. Overall, it looks much more permanent this time.

And finally, here’s the same chart without food:




Houses and Holes


  1. Sandgroper Sceptic

    Adam Carr must be living in a mining town! The trend looks flat to down and should continue. When it goes negative we will be deep in a recession.

  2. In the ACT, house prices up; retail sales down. Wonder if there’s a correlation as people spend more on their mortgages, rates, insurance, utilities etc there nothing left for retail. A housing induced recession.

    • Most workers in Canberra have a guaranteed government (taxpayer funded) pay cheque, and given there are 20 new eco departments being created, housing there hasn’t stalled as much as the rest of Australia. I don’t think you can view Canberra as anything to go by nationally.

      • That’s the problem. There is only so much income floating around Canberra at any one time so when the cost of housing goes up, discretionary spending (retail) is hurt and hurt badly it is here. The housing industry won’t be satisfied until it sucks every last dollar out of the economy.

        • And get this…the public servants sit on their ass all day talking about how they cant understand why people are whinging with our economy when its going ‘so strong’

          Trust me…they have no idea!

          One day I will write a book about my time in the public service. I went there with good intentions and a belief that Government could help people be the best they can be…I left a hardcore libertarian that believes in nearly 100% deregulation and the importance of a civil society/philanthropy/volunteerism.

          The best thing anyone could do to improve their understanding of the role Government should play in our lives is spend some time working in Government and see what goes on in that world…will change a few people’s opinions I think

  3. Mad Adam’s response is as expected:

    “At the end of the day this survey, for reasons I’ve outlined elsewhere, doesn’t accurately capture what is occurring in the broader retail space and certainly not the consumer space. Ultimately though it doesn’t matter; consumer weakness is the consensus and that isn’t going to change anytime soon as flawed as that argument is. Rates are on hold.”

    • It appears Mad Adam and other bullhawks would like the humans ( or is it humanitarians?) at the RBA board be replaced by an “inflation target” algorithm 🙂
      Why? So that they can trade off the algo rather than all the nasty psycho guess work and the psyops involved right now.

      • Whichever one provides a reading that he agrees with. In his post this morning, Mad Adam wrote the following contradictory statements on this retail survey:

        “Looking to the day ahead, we get retail sales at 1130 AEST. As I have highlighted before, this is literally the only survey (of any credibility) showing weakness in retail spending, but it’s also the survey with the narrowest scope. With that in mind it cannot be used reliably as an indicator of what is occurring in the retail space. Especially when company accounts continue to suggest sales are actually much stronger. Consequently, nothing other than a very strong result will be credible…

        …the weak retailing argument reflects nothing other than the delusional rantings of rabid hysterics and industry lackeys. Facts clearly don’t matter to these people given the solid sales reports we’ve seen. Only hysteria, hearsay and anecdotes are important it seems.”

        I particularly like this statement: “nothing other than a very strong result will be credible”

        So if the survey supports his views it’s credible otherwise it’s not credible. Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.

        • Precious Bodily Fluids

          ..delusional rantings of rabid hysterics and industry lackeys

          One of the reasons I ceased going to Business Spectator is their use of a guy whose idea of daily analysis is these kind of bullhawkian rants. Rant/Crow all you want if you have the data on your side but when you haven’t it comes across as [comment rules prohibit me inserting remark]. I’ve never understood why BS persist with this guy but it was a key reason I chose to steer clear.

          • Because Kohler agrees with him…Gotti is just now coming around to see how wrong he was…

            Those old timers are like Gittins..fossils that have no idea what is going on as their whole understanding of economidsw is fundamentally flawed.

            BUsiness Speculators is what it should be called…they are pulling stuff our their a$$!

    • Different China Fanboy

      What we need is Bullhawks Anonymous, where these guys can go and comfort each other about their bullhawkian addiction.

      Adam: “Hi my names Adam and I’m a bullhawk”

      All: “Hi Adam”

      Adam: “…the media, the pundits, the RBA, you know, they just don’t get it, we’ve never had it so good. All those liars out there claiming retail is bad, I just want to slap them so hard …I mean don’t they know data is backward looking, the global economy is booming but these people just want to talk things down. It makes me sad.”

  4. Different China Fanboy – don’t try telling me everything is o.k. in retail. 35 years of hard work about to go down the drain when I lose my house and everything else in the next few months.
    Any other Retailers in the same boat.