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January Retail Sales Disappoint

Australian retail sales have again missed forecasts, with ABS numbers reflecting a modest 0.1% lift [seasonally adjusted] in January, versus 0.3% expected – sending the AUD down to 70.27 US cents.

It follows a 0.4% drop in December and 0.5% hike in November, amid sluggish consumer spending and declining house prices.

[ABS]

Total retail sales jumped 2.3% year-on-year – among its weakest levels since May last year.

Non-food sales climbed just 1.7%, with annual non-food sales amongst their lowest levels since late 2017.

For the month of January, department store sales slumped 2.1%, down from a 1.3% dip in December.

[ABS – Department Stores]

Household goods retailing has remained flat, with electrical and electronic goods retailing slipping 0.1%.

On a state by state basis, NSW saw retail sales climb 0.7%, whilst QLD dipped 0.7%.

The Reserve Bank claims weak income growth has continued to affect consumer discretionary spending.

[ABS – Household Goods]

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