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Australia retail sales grow less than expected in April

Published 28/05/2024, 11:40 am
© Reuters.
- Australia retail sales grew at a slower-than-expected pace in April as consumer spending remained under pressure from sticky inflation and concerns over high for longer interest rates. 

Retail sales grew 0.1% month-on-month in April, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday. The figure was weaker than expectations for growth of 0.3%, and recovered marginally from the drop of 0.4% seen in March. 

The weak data furthered the notion that Australian retail spending had largely plateaued in 2024, and was showing sustained signs of weakness as consumers scaled back on discretionary spending. 

Retail sales also grew little year-on-year. Spending has been largely pressured by sticky inflation and high mortgage rates- both of which chipped away at household savings over the past year.

Sticky inflation also gives the Reserve Bank of Australia more impetus to keep interest rates high for longer. 

Still, cooling retail spending does factor into a softer outlook for inflation, and could herald softer inflation in the coming months. A monthly consumer price index inflation reading for April is due on Wednesday. 

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