Retail turnover dips in December

Fall in household goods.

Australian retail turnover fell 0.5% in December 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows a 1.3% rise in November 2017.

Online retail turnover contributed 4.8% to total retail turnover in original terms in December 2017, an increase from 3.8% in December 2016.

ABS director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, Ben James said, “There were falls for household goods retailing (2.6%) and other retailing (1.8%) following strong rises in November. 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%) in December 2017.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls 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.

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

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

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