Australia: Consumers start Q4 on a weak footing
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%.