Australia: Pre-Christmas shopping pushes retail sales growth to 5-month high
Nominal retail sales growth in November came in at 0.4% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following October’s 0.3% expansion. This was slightly above market expectations of a 0.3% rise. Although sluggish wage growth, falling house prices and a high stock of household debt continued to weigh on consumers’ finances, retail sales benefited from strong promotional activity.
Higher sales in household goods retailing and clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing led the expansion, partially offset by lower sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.
In annual terms, retail sales expanded 3.3% in November, down from October’s 3.8% increase. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales in November remained unchanged at October’s 2.9%.