Australian shoppers increased their online retail spending in October

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Australian online retails sales bounced back in October following a drop in the previous month, according to new figures from the NAB.

The bank’s Online Retail Sales Index — a measure of spending on retail goods — rose by 1.5% in October in seasonally adjusted terms, after a 0.5% decline in September.

Source: NAB

The October result left annual growth in online sales at 8.3%, up from 6.3% in October.

NAB said that for the 12 months to the end of October, Australians made around $23.65 billion worth of retail purchases online.

That amounts to around 7.6% of the total spent at bricks and mortar retailers in the 12 months to the end of September.

Data on total spending is compiled monthly by the ABS, which releases its October retail sales data tomorrow.

The ABS figures showed Australian retail sales flat-lined in September, following the 0.5% decline in NAB’s online sales reading.

But a comparison over recent months indicates that the two data points don’t have a particularly strong correlation.

Data from the ABS showed national retail sales badly missed expectations in August with a 0.6% fall, after NAB’s August reading showed growth in online sales of 1.5%.

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said the categories with the highest online sales growth in October were Media (22.9%, up from 19.5% in September) and Daily Deals (18.6%, up from 9.9%).

“Grocery and Liqour (8.8% vs 6.5%), Personal & Recreational (8.2% vs 2.3%) and Homeware & Appliances (3.1% vs -5.4%) also accelerated in year on year terms in October,” Oster said.

“Fashion was the only category where sales contracted year on year in October (-0.3% vs 2.2%).”

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