Australian retail sales rise 0.2% in December, below expectations

Getty/Dan Kitwood

Australian retail turnover rose 0.2% in December following a rise of 0.1% in November and 0.4% in October, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The result was below market expectations of about 0.4%.

Total retail spending was $23.8 billion in December.

However, spending for the December quarter was up 1.5% to $69.434 billion. CommSec says this is the best quarterly result in almost two years.

The ABS statement:

In seasonally adjusted terms the largest contributor to the rise was clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.7 per cent). Food retailing (0.3 per cent ) was the only other industry to rise in December. Other retailing (0.0 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.0 per cent) were relatively unchanged whilst there were falls in household goods retailing (-0.4 per cent) and department stores (-0.9 per cent).

In seasonally adjusted terms the states which displayed rises were Queensland (0.6 per cent), New South Wales (0.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.5 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.4 per cent). Victoria was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) and there were falls in South Australia (-0.4 per cent), Tasmania (-1.3 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-0.1 per cent.).

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose (0.2 per cent) in December 2014. This followed a (0.3 per cent) rise in November and (0.3 per cent) rise in October. Through the year, the trend estimate rose 3.3 per cent in December 2014 compared to December 2013.
In volume terms, turnover rose (1.5 per cent) in the December quarter, seasonally adjusted, following a rise of (0.9 per cent) in the September quarter 2014.

Online retail turnover contributed (2.8 per cent) to total retail turnover in original terms.

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