Australia’s retail sales report for December has missed expectations, coming in flat against expectations for an increase of 0.5%.
It was the smallest monthly increase since July 2015 where sales decreased by 0.1%.
Over the year sales grew by 4.19% to $24.759 billion, a slight deceleration on the 4.3% pace seen in the 12 months to November.
According to the ABS, sales increased in food retailing (0.8%), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.1%) and department stores (0.1%) in seasonally adjusted terms.
Offsetting those increases, sales fell for household goods retailing (-1.0%), other retailing (-0.9%) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5%).
Despite the large fall in 1% fall in household goods sales, the category still recorded the fastest annual percentage growth at 6.3%. This was followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and Department store sales at 4.7% and 4.6% respectively.
Eating out seems to falling out of favour with consumers as sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food outlets recorded the slowest annual increase at 2.9%. Food retailing, the largest category by dollar spend, saw sales increase by 3.7% from 12 months earlier.
Like the performance by category, turnover across the nation was mixed.
Sales increased in the Australian Capital Territory (2.4%), Queensland (0.2%), New South Wales (0.1%), South Australia (0.2%) and the Northern Territory (0.3%), but fell in in Western Australia (-0.6%), Victoria (-0.1%) and Tasmania (-0.6%).
For the December quarter retail volumes, adjusted for price movements, increased by 0.6%, the same level recorded in Q3 but below market forecasts for a gain of 0.9%.
Originally from Business Insider Australia