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April Retail Sales Slump, RBA Cuts Rates

Australian retail sales dived 0.1% in April [seasonally adjusted], contrasting the 0.2% lift analysts had expected. Results were hampered by sluggish performance in NSW and VIC.

As shock to some, the Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates for the first time in almost three years – down 25 basis points to a record low of 1.25%.

For the month of April, retail turnover slipped 0.1% [seasonally adjusted] versus the 0.2% increase analysts expected.

Results were the first monthly decline in sales since December 2018.

[ABS – April 2019]

[ABS]

Retail sales slumped 0.4% in both NSW and Victoria during the month, contrasting a 0.7% leap in QLD, and 0.6% lift in SA.

Household goods retailing [seasonally adjusted] dived 0.9% during the month, with electrical and electronic goods retailing slumping 1.2%.

By contrast, department stores notches a 1.8% jump [seasonally adjusted] in April.

Commentators claim the results reflect concern over slow wage growth, coupled with declining house prices specifically across NSW.

Seasonally adjusted retail turnover slipped to $27.33 billion, following a 0.3% jump in March and 0.8% lift in February.

[ABS – Department Store Retailing]

[ABS – Household Goods Retailing]

 

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