Australia Retail October 2019


Australia: Consumers start Q4 on a weak footing

December 5, 2019

Nominal retail sales in October were unchanged over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following September’s 0.2% uptick. The reading came significantly below market expectations of a 0.3% increase and suggests monetary and fiscal stimulus is not bolstering household spending, which is being restrained by subdued wage growth, elevated levels of debt and a higher propensity to save.

October’s reading was the result of higher sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services and food retailing offsetting lower sales in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, department stores and household goods.

In annual terms, retail sales expanded 2.7% in October, up from September’s 2.0% increase. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales inched down to 2.7% from September’s 2.8%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect private consumption to expand 2.1% in 2020, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2021, the panel expects private consumption to grow 2.4%.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Senior Economist

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Australia Retail Chart

Australia Retail October 2019

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

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