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May Retail Sales Soft

Australian retail sales grew ever so slightly in May, with the expected (and then delivered) Reserve Bank interest rate cut being credited for consumers opening their wallets.

The 0.1 per cent seasonally adjusted change delivered a $27.3433 billion turnover for the month, with food services (0.7%), other retailing (0.6%), and household goods (0.5%) rising, while clothing (-0.2%), food retailing (-0.3%), and department stores (-0.4%) fell.

The ACT (0.7%), Victoria (0.6%), South Australia (0.5%) and the Northern Territory (0.5%) all climbed, while New South Wales (-0.1%), Western Australia (-0.2%), Queensland (-0.3%) and Tasmania (-0.4%) all fell in seasonally adjusted terms.

The estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are compiled by telephone through the monthly Retail Business Survey of 500 large businesses and 2700 smaller ones.

Poor wage growth and increased household debt are being blamed for decreases in consumer spending.

The Reserve Bank cut interest rates for the second time in quick succession earlier this week in a bid to boost the economy.

 

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