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Aus Retail Trade Wobbles

As regular as clockwork, Australian shoppers rush to the shops during December, with the end of another school (and work) year, the need for a new season wardrobe, and of course Christmas, all drawing out spenders ready to splurge.

But, 2021 wasn’t a normal year. And after retail spending leaped by 7.3 per cent in November, and by 4.9 per cent in October, as Sydney and Melbourne escaped lockdown, December spending was muted: coming in 4.4 per cent lower than in November.

This marks the largest monthly decline since the national lockdown of April, 2020, although the $31.9 billion spent in December sales were still up 4.8 per cent on December, 2020.

Goldman Sachs chief economist Andrew Boak says the quite December “was largely driven by a pullback in spending on discretionary goods after Black Friday sales in the prior month, although the surge in local Omicron cases towards the end of the month may have also contributed”.

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