Australian Retail Sales Rise for Fifth Consecutive Month

Australian Retail Sales Rise for Fifth Consecutive Month

Australian Retail Sales Rise for Fifth Consecutive Month

Australian retail sales rose for a fifth consecutive month in June, although gains were much slower than expected, reflecting consumer activity amid election season.

Retail sales rose at a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in June, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said in a reporton Thursday. A median estimate of economists forecast retail sales to increase 0.3%.

Sales rose at other cafes and restaurants, clothing stores and department stores, official data showed.

Gains were reported across most regions, including in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Consumer spending is expected to receive a lift after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowered interest rates to new all-time lows on Wednesday. It was the second rate cut in four months, as policymakers sought a more aggressive approach to combating deflation.

The Melbourne Institute’s monthly inflation report on Monday showed a sharp decline in consumer prices in July, a sign that the fight against deflation was not over. Consumer prices declined 0.3% from June, the report showed.

Household consumption was a major catalyst behind the economy’s stellar growth in the first quarter. Australia’s gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in the first three months of the year and 3.1% annually. That was the fastest increase in three years.

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