AU: Retail Sales

Sun Jun 03 20:30:00 CDT 2018

Consensus Actual Previous Revised
Month over Month 0.2% 0.4% 0.0%
Year over Year 2.6% 3.1% 3.2%

Retail sales in Australia advanced 0.4 percent on the month (seasonally adjusted) in April after no change in March, above the consensus forecast for an increase of 0.2 percent. Seasonally adjusted retail sales advanced 2.6 percent on the year in April, down from 3.2 percent in March.

The increase in headline retail sales growth in April reflects month-on-month gains in three of the six major categories of spending. Sales for food retailing, the largest category, rose 0.3 percent on the month, while sales for household retailing, the second largest category, advanced 0.7 percent. Sales also increased by 1.3 percent for cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services. This was offset by month-on-month declines in sales for clothing, footwear and accessory retailing, "other" retailing, and department stores.

Sales advanced on the month in April in all but one the eight Australian states and territories, including an increase of 0.7 percent in New South Wales, the most populous state, and of 0.3 percent in Victoria, the second most populous state. Sales fell only in South Australia, dropping 0.6 percent on the month.

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.