Australia: Retail sales growth flat in March
Nominal retail sales growth in March was flat over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, down from February’s 0.6% increase and coming below market expectations of a 0.3% rise. Higher sales in food retailing offset contractions in department store sales, as well as in sales of household goods, and clothing, footwear and personal accessories.
Subdued wage growth and high levels of household debt could be behind March’s weak performance. In annual terms, retail sales grew 4.4% in March, up from 3.0% in February. As a result, growth in annual average retail sales rose to 2.8% in March from 2.6% in February.