AU: Retail Sales

Wed Jan 10 18:30:00 CST 2018

Actual Previous
Month over Month 1.2% 0.5%
Year over Year 2.9% 1.8%

Retail sales in Australia rose 1.2 percent on the month (seasonally adjusted) in November after an increase of 0.5 percent in October. This is the strongest monthly increase since 2010. Seasonally adjusted retail sales increased 2.9 percent on the year in November, picking up from 1.8 percent in October.

Stronger growth in headline retail sales in November reflects increases in most major categories, with sales of household goods and other retailing recording particularly strong growth of 4.5 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. Officials cited the impact of the introduction of a new model of mobile phone and increased promotional activity by Australian retailers. Sales also increased for clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, partly offset by a fall in sales for department stores.

Sales rose on the month in November in all eight Australian states and territories, increasing by 1.0 percent in the most populous state, New South Wales, and by 1.8 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.