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March Retail Sales Beat Forecasts

Australian retail sales jumped 0.3% in March [seasonally adjusted], beating market expectations for a 0.2% lift. The results follow a revised gain of 0.9% in February.

March numbers were driven by a leap in food retailing, with price increases (than volume) driving the surge.

During the month, household goods retailing lift 0.2% [seasonally adjusted], whilst department stores slumped 1.5%.

Electrical and electronic goods retailing slipped 0.1%.

Excluding food-related items, local retail sales soared 0.3% in March, notching a 2.9% increase from the previous 12 months – the fastest since October 2018.

[ABS – Household goods retailing]

[ABS – Department store retailing]

Retail sales jumped in all Australian states and territories during the month, bar WA and ACT.

Despite sales beating market expectations for the last two months, retail sales volumes contracted – down 0.05% versus a 0.3% lift expected.

“The quarterly fall in volumes was led by household goods retailing at 0.6%, and department stores at 1.2%,” claims the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The news comes as household debt further soars, coupled with declining household debt.

A drop in retail spending has also hampered local GDP.

[ABS]

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