Australian Retail Sales Data Shows Growth Was Slowing Before The Budget

Getty/Brendan Thorne

The ABS retail sales data for April, while largely historic now that the Budget has hit confidence so hard, shows a step-down in the rate of sales growth was evident in the first quarter of 2014.

Coming in with a rise of 0.2% seasonally adjusted against market expectations of 0.3%, and following the 0.1% growth rate in March, the data is a little on the disappointing side and highlights the risk to May retail sales from the crash in consumer confidence.

It’s a volatile series as a the chart above shows and sub-components can often be volatile as well.

Industries that rose in seasonally adjusted terms were Food retailing (0.2%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory (0.2%), Department stores (2.9%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.5%). The losers on the month were Household goods retailing (-1.0%) and Other retail down 0.2%.

This data will have been influenced by the budget leaks in the latter part of April but the all-important May retail sales will be released on July 3rd – then we’ll get a real read on impact of the budget on consumption.

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