Australian retail pulls another donut

The September quarter retail sales data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed the first annual decline in retail sales volumes since the early-1990s recession:

Now, the ABS has released retail sales figures for the month of October, which recorded zero growth in the value of retail sales over the month in seasonally-adjusted terms, with annual sales growth slumping to just 2.1%:

In trend terms, annual retail sales growth slowed to 2.3%.

The below chart maps out nominal seasonally-adjusted sales growth by segment on a monthly and annual basis, which shows significant variation over the year:

Annual trend retail sales growth also shows a mixed bag:

The next chart shows seasonally-adjusted retail sales by jurisdiction on a monthly and annual basis, which again shows significant variation:

Annual trend retail sales growth also shows a mixed bag:

Interestingly, the rebound in dwelling values has failed to filter through to retail sales, which remain in the gutter:

Australia’s “retail recession” rolls on.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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