Black Friday drives retail sales to the moon

The ABS has released retail sales figures for the month of November, which recorded 0.9% growth in the value of retail sales over the month in seasonally-adjusted terms, with annual sales growth lifting to 3.2%:

In trend terms, annual retail sales growth rose to 2.9%.

According to the ABS:

“We have seen strong growth in Black Friday sales, both in areas such as electrical goods and online sales, but also in areas such as clothing and furniture,” said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “While seasonal adjustment removes regular seasonal patterns associated with Black Friday based on prior results, the strong seasonally adjusted rises in a number of sub-groups this month shows that the impact of this Black Friday exceeded that of previous years.”

The below chart maps out nominal seasonally-adjusted sales growth by segment on a monthly and annual basis:

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 shows significant variation:

Annual trend retail sales growth also shows a mixed bag:

The Black Friday induced surge in retail sales would have pulled forward demand and will likely be followed by weak Christmas sales.

Leith van Onselen
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