Your 10-second guide to today's Australian retail sales report

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Australia’s retail sales for April will be released later on this morning.

Sales have been pretty poor of late, and with consumer confidence weakening and alternate indicators on spending also softening, there’s likely to be plenty of interest on today’s report.

Here’s the state of play.

  • In March, sales slumped by 0.1% in seasonally-adjusted terms, coming in well below expectations for an increase of 0.3%.
  • It was the third time in four months that sales fell, with disruptions caused by Cyclone Debbie likely contributing to the poor result.
  • The weak result saw the year-on-year growth rate slow to 2.1%, the weakest level since June 2013.
  • By category, sales in department stores (-0.6%), food retailers (-0.5%), restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5%) and household goods retailers (-0.1%) all fell, offsetting increases in other retailers (1.1%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (0.4%).
  • From a state and territory perspective, the largest falls were reported in the Northern Territory (-1.8%) and Queensland (-1.3%). There were also declines reported in South Australia and Tasmania, while other states posted small gains, led by Victoria at 0.4%.
  • Today, economists expect a rebound in spending, although it’s still expected to be modest.
  • Of the 24 economists polled by Bloomberg, the median forecast is centred on an increase of 0.3%. Individual forecasts range from a decline of 0.1% to an increase of 0.6%.
  • Another undershoot in today’s report — something that has recently become the norm rather than the exception — will only help to stoke fears over the financial health of Australian households.

The report will be released at 11.30am AEST.

Business Insider will have all of the details once it’s been released.

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