Australia Retail


Retail sales drop for third consecutive month

In December, retail sales contracted 0.2% over November, which was in line with the same-sized drop recorded in the previous month. The reading contrasted market expectations of a 0.5% rise and represented a third consecutive contraction. As a result of the negative reading, nominal retail sales slowed from the 3.6% year-on-year increase recorded in November to a 0.8% rise in December, which marked the lowest reading since July 2011. In the full-year 2012, retail sales expanded 3.2%, which was up from the 2.4% recorded in 2011 and marked the strongest expansion in three years.

In addition, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also released quarterly figures for retail trade in real terms. In the fourth quarter, retail trade rose 0.1% compared to the previous three-month period, contrasting the 0.3% drop in Q3 but coming in below market expectations of a 0.3% rise.

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Australia Retail Chart

Australia Retail December 2012

Note: Month-on-month seasonally adjusted and annual variation of retail sales index in %.
Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics and FocusEconomics calculations.

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