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February Retail Sales Smash Forecasts

Australian retail sales soared 0.8% in February, trumping analyst expectations for a 0.3% jump. It follows a disappointing 0.1% lift in January.

The results are the largest monthly increase since November 2017, sending the Aussie dollar above US 70.8 cents following data release.

Latest ABS numbers reveal seasonally adjusted retail spending notched A$27.27 billion in February, driven by a notable 3.5% hike in department store sales.

[ABS]

Household goods retailing lift 1.1% [seasonally adjusted], whilst electrical and electronic goods retailing jumped 1.2%.

The news follows a $38 million half-year profit for Myer, despite sluggish local consumer spending.

Earlier this week Woolworths confirmed it was closing 30 Big W outlets in the next three years, fuelling reports the conglomerate is pursuing buyers for the embattled discount department store.

[ABS – Department Store Retailing]

[ABS – Household Goods Retailing]

February’s results see the annual growth rate in sales notch 3.2% – the quickest lift since October 2018.

On a state basis, ACT lead the charge with a 1.7% jump, followed by the Northern Territory and Queensland with 1.4% gains each.

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