AU: Retail Sales

Mon Dec 04 18:30:00 CST 2017

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Month over Month 0.3% 0.5% 0.0% 0.1%
Year over Year 1.8% 1.4% 1.5%

Retail sales in Australia rose 0.5 percent on the month (seasonally adjusted) in October after a revised increase of 0.1 percent in September, stronger than the consensus forecast of 0.3 percent and the biggest monthly increase since May. Seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 1.8 percent on the year in October, picking up from 1.5 percent in September

Stronger headline retail sales in October reflects increases in all major categories, with sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing up 1.0 percent on the month in October after declining by 0.7 percent in September, and sales of cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services up 1.7 percent after an increase of 0.7 percent previously. Food retailing, household goods retailing and department stores posted weaker but still positive month-on-month increases in October.

Sales rose on the month in October in all eight Australian states and territories, advancing by 0.3 percent in the most populous state, New South Wales, and by 1.0 percent in Victoria, the second most populous state.

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.