December Oz Retail Sales Drop 1.3%, CE Climbs
Following November’s 1.3% uptick, retail sales in December came in significantly lower than expected – dropping 0.5% versus 0.2% forecast.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report reveals December’s retail sales notched $26.26 billion (seasonally adjusted terms).
The annual pace of sales slipped from 2.9% in November to 2.5%.
“Household good retailing” fell 2.6%, and “other retailing” dipped 1.8%.
By contrast, “electrical and electronic goods retailing” climbed 0.7%. The seasonally adjusted estimate for the sector fell 4.7%.
Reports state the later-than-expected launch of the iPhone X, plus Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales contributed to November’s booming results.At current, retail sales volumes represent 30% of household consumption – a category which contributes just below 60% of Australia’s GDP.
Apart from Queensland – which remained relatively flat – all other Australian states posted broad-based declines.
Victoria (-0.8%), New South Wales (-0.4 %), Western Australia (-0.8%), Tasmania (-1.6%), Australian Capital Territory (-1.5%), South Australia (-0.3%), Northern Territory (-0.7%).
Despite December’s disappointing result, the ABS states quarterly sales notched a 0.9% lift (seasonally adjusted chain volumes):
“Turnover rose 0.9% in the December quarter 2017 following a rise of 0.1% in the September quarter”
“The rise in volumes was led by household goods (3.4%), which benefited from strong promotions and the release of the iPhone X in November”.