Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed disappointing retail spending in the month of April. Retail sales figures were flat and missed the projections made by economists. Sales in the month of April came to a seasonally adjusted $24.1bn, marginally down from the previous month. Most predictions said the sector would grow at 0.30 per cent month-to-month. The Australian dollar fell on news of the weak retail data.
Economists survey by Bloomberg forecasted a 0.30 per cent increase in sales in the April quarter, which was on par with most other projections. The ABS also revised its March quarter sales estimates from 0.30 per cent to 0.20 per cent. In December, sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.20 per cent. In January, sales rose 0.50 per cent and in February sales rose 0.70 per cent. In March and April, the sales growth rate appears to be tapering off. “We've seen 10 consecutive months of strong activity and you're seeing now a bit of consolidation in the month of April,” said CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian. “I don't think there's anything to be overly worried about.”
Retail trade increased in clothing and footwear, which rose 1.30 per cent. Takeaway sales growth came in at 0.80 per cent. Department store sales fell 0.70 per cent in addition to a 0.10 per cent fall in “other retailing” sales. Spending numbers were the strongest in Victoria and Australian Capital Territory. Sales fell significantly in Tasmania, down 0.90 per cent in April. The Australian dollar fell sharply after the data was released and remains at subdued levels. The AUD is trading at US0.7717 around 4:02pm AEST.
Author: Simon Herrmann
Jun 04, 2015
Simon is a financial analyst at independent research firm Wise-owl specialised in small-mid cap growth opportunities and ethical investment opportunities. Simon's aim is to disrupt the cliché approach to investment decision making as he believes that socially and environmentally responsible behaviour is a necessity to long-term wealth creation. Simon has a deep fundamental understanding of the global financial landscape and has compiled 300+ research reports, valuations and corporate appraisals. Simon is commonly featured in major media outlets and his research is published weekly in The Australian.