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MNI DATA ANALYSIS: Australia Aug Retail Sales Up, Trend Slows

MNI (London)
By Sophia Rodrigues
     SYDNEY (MNI) - Australia's retail sales rose more than expected in August,
but the trend slowed slightly to the lowest rate since October last year,
suggesting household consumption will remain a key source of uncertainty for the
economy's growth outlook.
     Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Friday showed retail
sales rose 0.3% m/m in August, an outcome higher than MNI's median forecast for
a 0.2% rise. 
     In trend terms, however, retail sales slowed to 0.2% m/m from 0.3% in July
and also down from the 0.4% pace seen at the start of the year.
     The latest monthly gain was due to a part-rebound in the three categories
which fell in July. Household goods retailing rose 0.2% versus a 1.3% fall in
July. Clothing and footwear rose 0.8%, compared to a 2.1% decline, and
department stores rose 0.9% after a 1.8% fall the month before.
     In trend terms, household goods retailing was in negative for three
straight months, suggests this part of retail industry is suffering a direct
impact from slowing housing market conditions. 
     Below is table for retail turnover (current prices) for August:
                                               August                       July
                                   (M/M %, seasonally         (M/M %, seasonally
                                            adjusted)                  adjusted)
Retail Sales                                     +0.3          0.0 (no revision)
MNI Median                   +0.2 (range 0.0 to +0.5)
Retail Sales (Trend)                             +0.2          +0.3(no revision)
Food Retailing                                    0.0                       +0.3
Household Goods                                  +0.2                       -1.2
Clothing, Footwear etc                           +0.8                       -2.0
Department Stores                                +0.9                       -1.9
Other Retailing                                  +0.4                       +1.7
Cafes, Restaurants,
Takeaways                                        +0.7                       +0.6
--MNI Sydney Bureau; tel: +61 2-9716-5467; email:
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |

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