Australia: Retail sales growth accelerates in August
Nominal retail sales growth in August came in at 0.3% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following July’s flat reading. This was above market expectations of a 0.2% rise. Unremarkable wage growth, falling house prices and high household debts continue to weigh on consumer spending.
Higher sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services; growth in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing; and higher sales in department stores led the expansion.
In annual terms, retail sales jumped a five-month high of 4.2% in August, down from July’s 2.6% increase. Consequently, growth in annual average retail sales in August inched up to 2.6% from July’s 2.5%.