In a good lead indicator for Australia’s September retail sales, released in a fortnight, online retail sales grew strongly last month with the NAB’s online retail sales index rising 1.1% in seasonally adjusted terms. The NAB suggest that Apple iPhone 6S, released that month, may have played a role in the substantial increase.
The NAB estimates that Australians spent $17.6 billion on online retail in the 12 months to September 2015, equivalent to 7.1% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS – excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food – in the year to August 2015.
In month-on-month terms, the NAB note that all categories except fashion recorded growth. Growth was highest for electronic games and toys, closely followed by grocery & liquor, housewares, department stores, personal and recreational and media. Even daily deals websites, having been serial underperformers in recent months, managed to record a substantial increase in sales of 4.8%, but despite the lift, annual sales in the category remain down 6.8%.
Australian retail sales increased by 0.4% to $24.4044 billion in August according to the ABS, the highest level on record. In seasonally adjusted terms, sales increased by 4.45% from a year earlier, an acceleration on July’s 4.17% pace.