Your 10-second guide to today's Australian retail sales report

Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Later this morning the ABS will release it retail sales report for September. After rising modestly in August following a surprise fall in July, markets expect another small increase to arrive today.

Here’s the state of play.

  • In August, retail sales rose by 0.4% to $24.4 billion, the highest level on record.
  • From a year earlier, sales grew 4.45%, an acceleration on the 4.17% pace seen in July.
  • On the back of the booming housing markets along Australia’s eastern seaboard, household goods retailing recorded the strongest annual growth at 9.1%. This was followed by department stores (+7.1%) and sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories (+5.8%). Food retailing, the largest component in terms of dollar spend, recorded growth of 2.9%.
  • From a geographic perspective, and fitting with recent economic trends, New South Wales and Victoria recorded the fastest annual growth in sales at 5.8% and 4.8% respectively. The Northern Territory, at -0.8%, was the only state or territory to recorded an annual decline in sales.
  • According to a survey of 27 economists conducted by Bloomberg, sales are expected to increase by 0.4%, the same level seen in August. Forecasts range from a drop of 0.2% to a gain of 0.7%, meaning there’s likely to be market volatility that accompanies the release.
  • While not a perfect lead indicator, there may be upside risks heading into the event based on the NAB’s online retail sales report for September released late last week. According to the survey, online spending jumped 1.1%, an outcome the NAB suggests may have been caused by the release of Apple’s iPhone 6S.
  • Alongside the monthly report, the ABS will also release quarterly retail sales volumes, that which adjusts for price movements during the quarter. Markets are looking for an increase of 0.7%. This figure is important as it is a partial input for household consumption, a significant component of quarterly GDP.

The report will be released at 11.30am AEDT.

Business Insider will have full coverage as soon as the data drops.

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