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Australia Retail August 2019

Australia: Retail sales expand in August, suggesting monetary and fiscal stimulus is bearing fruit

Nominal retail sales in August rose a healthy 0.4% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following July’s flat reading. Although it marked the strongest reading in six months, it came slightly below market expectations of a 0.5% increase. August’s reading suggests tax rebates introduced by the center-right government and the recent interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia are encouraging spending, despite subdued wage growth and elevated levels of debt.

August’s increase came on the back of higher sales in food retailing, clothing and footwear, department stores and household goods retailing. On the other hand, sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway services dipped.

In annual terms, retail sales expanded 2.9% in August, up from July’s 2.6% increase. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales inched down to 3.8% from July’s 3.0%.

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