Australia Retail January 2017


Australia: Retail sales increase tepidly in January

March 6, 2018

Nominal retail sales in January rose 0.1% from the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, contrasting December’s 0.5% drop and undershooting analysts’ expectations of a 0.4% increase. January’s result came on the back of higher sales in the other retailing, household goods, and cafés, restaurants and takeaways sectors, which were partially offset by lower sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories.

January’s figures were disappointing, particularly coming after a weak December reading, as consumers continued to keep a rein on the purse strings after a spending splurge in November associated with Black Friday and the launch of the iPhone X. Although the weak performance of the retail sector could appear counterintuitive given the robust labor market and positive consumer sentiment, it can be explained by meager wage growth, which was barely higher than inflation in Q4. On a year-on-year basis, retail sales expanded 2.3% in January, up from 1.6% in December, while annual average retail sales growth remained at 2.4%.

Australia Private Consumption Forecast

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see private consumption growing 2.3% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019.

Author:, Economist

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Australia Retail Chart

Australia Retail January 2018

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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