AU: Retail Sales

Tue Nov 03 18:30:00 CST 2015

Consensus Actual Previous
Month over Month 0.4% 0.4% 0.4%

September retail sales were up 0.4 percent on the month and 3.7 percent from a year ago. Sales increased for household goods retailing (1.0 percent), cafes, restaurants & takeaway food services (0.9 percent), food retailing (0.3 percent), other retailing (0.4 percent) and clothing, footwear & personal accessory retailing (0.2 percent). However, department stores fell 2.0 percent.

Sales increased in Victoria (0.8 percent), New South Wales (0.3 percent), Western Australia (0.5 percent), South Australia (0.3 percent), Tasmania (0.8 percent) and the Northern Territory (1.0 percent). Sales declined in Queensland (down 0.3 percent) and the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.1 percent). Online retail turnover contributed 3.3 percent to total retail turnover in original terms.

Retail sales measure the total receipts at stores that sell durable and nondurable goods. The Retail Business Survey covers all employing retail trade businesses who predominantly sell to households.

With consumer spending a large part of the economy, market players continually monitor spending patterns. The pattern in consumer spending is often the foremost influence on stock and bond markets. For stocks, strong economic growth translates to healthy corporate profits and higher stock prices. For bonds, the focus is whether economic growth goes overboard and leads to inflation. Ideally, the economy walks that fine line between strong growth and excessive (inflationary) growth.

Retail sales not only give you a sense of the overall picture, but also the trends among different types of retailers. Especially strong apparel or electronics sales can indicate strength in those industries, for example. These trends from the retail sales data can help you spot specific investment opportunities, without having to wait for a company's quarterly or annual report.