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REPEAT: Australia Retail Sales Flat As Household Goods Fall

Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 02:11 GMT Sep 7/22:11 EST Sep 6
     SYDNEY (MNI) - Retail trade data for July published by the Australian
Bureau of Statistics on Friday:
                                                 July                       June
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   (M/M %, seasonally         (M/M %, seasonally
                                            adjusted)                  adjusted)
Retail Sales                                      0.0   +0.2 (revised from +0.3)
MNI Median                  +0.3 (range +0.1 to +0.5)
Food Retailing                                   +0.7                       -0.1
Household Goods                                  -1.7                       +0.7
Clothing, Footwear etc                           -0.2                       +0.8
Department Stores                                -2.8                       -0.5
Other Retailing                                  +1.3                       +0.2
Cafes, Restaurants,
Takeaways                                        +0.2                       +0.5
     FACTORS: Retail sales were flat in July, following three months of growth,
leading to a slowing in trend growth to +0.3% from +0.4% in June. The outcome
was mainly due to a 1.7% m/m fall household goods retailing and a slowing in
foods services, which were partly offset by a rise in foods retailing. The trend
for household goods has slowed to 0.4% rise in July after three months of 0.6%
increase. The trend for department stores was down for three months in a row
that followed an increase of 0.3% at the start of the year. 
     TAKEAWAY: The outcome was worse than expected and below the range predicted
by economists in an MNI survey. The data vindicates the Reserve Bank's worry
about household consumption and supports the case for monetary policy to remain
on hold for longer. In the September cash rate statement, the RBA highlighted
the concern once again when it said that slow growth in real wages and high
levels of household debt are likely to constrain future growth in spending.
--MNI Sydney Bureau; tel: +61 2-9716-5467; email: sophia.rodrigues@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MTABLE]

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