Aussie Retail Sales Fall in December 2017

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By Published On: February 6, 20180 Comments

Australian retail turnover fell 0.5% in December 2017, seasonally adjusted, with online retail growing 1% compared to the same period last year.

According to just-released recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail sales figures, Australian sales fell by 0.5 percent to $ 26.26 billion, well under expectations given the 1.3 percent rise in November 2017.

Online retail turnover contributed 4.8 percent to total retail turnover in original terms in the December month 2017, which is a 1 percent increase compared to the same period last year with online retail turnover contributing 3.8 percent to total retail in December 2016.

Household goods and department chains saw a fall in trade figures over the Christmas period, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “There were falls for household goods retailing (-2.6%) and other retailing (-1.8%) following strong rises in the November month,” said Ben James, director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “Department stores (-0.6%), cafes, restaurants and takeaways (-0.1%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.1%) also fell. Food retailing rose (0.7 %t) in December 2017.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls across all states, including in Victoria (-0.8%), New South Wales (-0.4%), Western Australia (-0.8 %), Tasmania (-1.6 %), the Australian Capital Territory (-1.5 %), South Australia (-0.3 %), and the Northern Territory (-0.7%). “Queensland was relatively unchanged in seasonally adjusted terms.”

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 percent in December 2017 following a rise (0.2%) in November 2017. Compared to December 2016 the trend estimate rose 2.0 percent.

In seasonally adjusted volume terms, turnover rose 0.9 percent in the December quarter 2017, following a rise of 0.1 percent in the September quarter 2017. The rise in volumes was led by household goods (3.4%), which benefitted from strong promotions and the release of the iPhone X in the November month, according to ABS.

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