Retail Sales Up 0.2 Per Cent In December
The December figures follow a rise of 0.1 per cent in November and a rise of 0.4 per cent in October, with total retail spending of $23.8 billion in December.
Household goods retailing and department stores declined 0.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively, while the electrical and electronic goods retailing subgroup recorded a strong 1.5 per cent rise.
Commsec noted upon release of the figures that electronic retailing recorded its strongest quarterly growth in seven years in the December quarter, with spending on electrical goods up 10.6 per cent.
Commenting on the results, ANRA CEO Anna McPhee noted that, “despite the glacial pace”, retail sales grew for the seventh consecutive month.
“This pattern of persistent retail sales growth, on the back of record-low interest rates, is good for the economy,” McPhee commented.
McPhee added that retailers welcome this week’s decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia to lower interest rates.
She noted it is “now a wait and see whether more needs to be done to rebuild confidence” before further improvements to activity in the retail sector are seen.
State-by-state, Queensland (0.6 per cent), New South Wales (0.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.5 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.4 per cent) recorded rises in December, with Victoria relatively unchanged.
South Australia (-0.4 per cent), Tasmania (-1.3 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-0.1 per cent) recorded declines.