Australians are spending more online, but the pace of growth is slowing

Australian online spending rebounded in August with the NAB’s online retail sales index increasing 0.6%.

The figure, a sharp improvement on the 1.4% decline in July, left online spending up 7.0% compared to levels of a year earlier.

“In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $17.5 billion on online retail in the 12 months to August 2015,” said Alan Oster, chief economist at the NAB.

“This level is equivalent to 7.1% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS (excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food, to create a like-for-like comparison) in the 12 months to July 2015.”

Despite the increase, Oster said “sales are still growing but at a much slower rate than in past periods.”

In what is now a well established trend, all categories except daily deal websites, saw sales increase from levels a year earlier.

“In year on year terms, all categories except daily deals (-16.3% yoy) recorded growth in August,” Oster said.

“Growth accelerated for electronic games and toys (+27.2% yoy), which still leads growth, along with media (+17.7% yoy), fashion(11.4%), and personal & recreational goods (+7.3%). Growth was stable for department and variety stores (1.9% yoy), while both grocery & liquor and homewares slowed”.

The ABS will release it retail sales report for August tomorrow morning at 11.30am AEST.

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