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July Retail Sales Stall, Oz Dollar Plummets

Local retail sales remained flat in July, despite forecasts for a 0.3% lift. Coupled with a further drop in housing prices, the Australian dollar has dived to a 20-month low of US71.68 cents.

Latest numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal retail turnover remained unchanged in July [seasonally adjusted], following a surprise 0.4% jump in June.

During the month, turnover dipped in three of the six retail sectors, with ‘household goods’ leading the decline (-1.2% seasonally adjusted).

[ABS – Household goods retailing]

By industry subgroup, trend estimates rose 0.1% for ‘furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods’.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for ‘electrical and electronic goods’ retailing dropped a notable 2.5%.

Australian department stores have continued to feel the pain, with seasonally adjusted estimates falling 1.9%.

The news follows reports Myer slashed another 30 jobs from its Head Office last week.

Results were offset by an increase in ‘other retailing’, soaring 1.7% [seasonally adjusted].

[ABS – Department Stores]

According to the ABS, retail sales fell across most of Australia in July; ACT (-0.6%), TAS (-0.3%), WA (-0.6%), VIC (-0.2%), SA (-0.3%) and the NT (-1.6%).

NSW retail sales remained flat during the month, with QLD jumping 0.8%.

Results coincide with CoreLogic’s housing price data, which dropped for the eleventh consecutive month in August.

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