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

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Australia’s retail sales report for June will be released by the ABS this morning, with economists expecting an acceleration in sales turnover following another disappointing performance in May. Adding extra importance to the ABS release, it will also contain quarterly sales volumes, accounting for around 30% of household consumption in Australia’s upcoming Q2 GDP report.

Here’s the state of play.

  • In May, retail sales rose by a minuscule 0.2%, below the 0.3% increase expected but an improvement on the 0.1% gain reported in April.
  • As a result of the underwhelming growth, the annual pace of sales growth slowed to just 3.4%, down from 3.5% in April. In October 2014, the annual growth in sales was as high as 5.7%.
  • After seasonal adjustments, sales increased in food retailing (0.7%), other retailing (1.4%) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.3%). That was partially offset by declines in household goods retailing (1.1%), formerly an area of strength, and in clothing, footwear and personal accessory sales which skidded 1.2%. Department store sales were flat.
  • Sales rose in New South Wales (0.7%), Victoria (0.6%) and South Australia (0.3%), mitigating declines in Western Australia (-0.7%), Queensland (-0.4%), the Northern Territory (-0.6%) and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.3%). Sales in Tasmania were flat.
  • From three months earlier, sales in those states and territories dominated by services — New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania— continued to outperform compared to those more aligned to the fortunes of the mining sector.
  • Turning to the June report, economists expect sales volumes to accelerate with the median forecast centred around an increase of 0.4%.
  • The ABS will also release quarterly sales volumes, a figure that strips out price movements during the quarter, that will feed into household consumption in GDP.
  • Volumes are expected to increase by 0.5%, unchanged from the levels seen in the March quarter.

The ABS will release the report at 11.30am AEST.

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

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