Australia Retail May 2019


Australia: May registers anaemic retail sales growth

July 4, 2019

Nominal retail sales in May inched up 0.1% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, swinging from April’s 0.1% dip. This came short of market expectations of a 0.2% increase. May’s reading suggests consumer spending remains in the doldrums, constrained by modest wage growth, falling house prices, and high levels of debt.

May’s uptick came on the back of higher sales in cafes, restaurant and takeaway food services, household goods retailing, and other retailing. Meanwhile, sales in department stores, as well as food retailing and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing decreased.

In annual terms, retail sales expanded 2.9% in May, notably down from April’s 4.2% increase. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales ticked down to 3.0% from April’s 3.1%.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 2.5% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2020, the panel expects private consumption to expand 2.7%.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Senior Economist

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Australia Retail Chart

Australia Retail May 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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