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January Oz Retail Sales Fall Short, Lowest Annual Growth Since October

Following a 0.5% slump in December, Australian retailers have suffered yet another tough month, with January retail sales climbing just 0.1% – notably lower than the 0.3% to 0.4% expected.

Disclosed within the ABS’ recent report, retail sales in January remained relatively flat notching $26.23 billion.

Annual sales growth within the retail industry slowed from 2.5% to 2.1% – notably the lowest result since October last year.

Weak retail sales were experienced in most sectors of the industry, with department stores dropping 0.2% [in trend terms]. The seasonally adjusted estimate for department stores fell 0.6%.

“Household goods retailing” notched a 0.5% increase in January 2018, with the seasonally adjusted estimate for the sector lifting 0.1%.

The trend estimate for the “Electrical and electronics goods” retailing subgroup posted a 1% increase, whilst its seasonally adjusted estimate fell 0.1%.

[ABS – Household Goods Retailing]

At its recent meeting in February, the Reserve Bank pointed towards “moderate growth in retail sales” for January, affirming retail competition remained “strong”.

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