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Special Factors Boost Sales, Q3 Strengthens Though


Retail sales grew a stronger-than-expected 0.9% m/m in September after 0.3% to be up 2% y/y. The strength was due to a number of special factors and so is unlikely to be repeated in October. The Q3 average rose a 3-month annualised rate of 3.4% up from 1.7% in Q2. Sales were positive in every month in Q3 signalling resilience in consumption. Q3 sales volume data are released on Friday but with nominal sales up 0.8% q/q another contraction in volumes is likely.

  • The ABS said that September’s strength was due to a number of factors. It cited the “warmer-than-usual start to spring” boosted department store, household goods and clothing sales. The new iPhone also increased sales as well due to the start of Queensland’s Climate Smart Energy Savers Rebate to upgrade appliances. Thus household goods retailing rose 1.5% m/m but was still down 4% y/y.
  • All of the major components of retail sales posted increases in September. Food retailing rose 1% m/m and 3.5% y/y but restaurants were flat although still the strongest category in annual terms at 6.1% y/y, but it appears to be slowing. Department stores rose 1.7% m/m and 1.3% y/y. Other retailing rose 1.3% m/m and 1.6% y/y due to the start of 60-day prescriptions.
Australia retail sales %

Source: MNI - Market News/ABS

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