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Financial News: Australia Retail Sales Fall 1.1% On Month In

Australia Retail Sales Fall 1.1% On Month In September

11/03/2020 - 20:10:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The total value of retail sales in Australia dropped a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent on month in September, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday - standing at A$29.157 billion.

That beat forecasts for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 4.0 percent drop in August.

Falls in September month led by household goods retailing (-3.6 percent) and food retailing (-1.5 percent), however both industries continue to trade at elevated levels compared to September 2019.

Other retailing (-0.7 percent), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-1.1 percent) also fell in September.

There were rises in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (3.5 percent), and department stores (1.0 percent).

There were falls in New South Wales (-0.9 percent), Queensland (-1.2 percent), Western Australia (-1.7 percent), South Australia (-2.9 percent), Victoria (-0.4 percent), the Australian Capital Territory (-2.4 percent), and Tasmania (-2.0 percent). The Northern Territory was up 4.3 percent.

Online sales remain elevated, making up 10.6 percent of total retail sales in September 2020. Online contributed 6.6 percent in September 2019.

For the third quarter of 2020, retail sales was up 6.5 percent at A$84.808 billion.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (28.1 percent), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (35.5 percent) led the rises.

Quarterly volume growth was partially offset by Victoria, which fell 4.2 percent. New South Wales (11.6 percent) led the rises by state and territory.

Also on Wednesday: . The Australian Industry Group said that the construction sector in Australia moved into expansion territory in October, with a seasonally adjusted Performance of Construction score of 52.7.

That's up from 45.2 and it moves above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. It's also the first expansionary result since August 2018.

All of this recovery in October was in housing construction, with house building activity and new orders up strongly. The activity and new orders indices in the apartments and engineering sectors improved in October but remained stable or in contraction. Activity in commercial construction deteriorated but new orders improved, which suggests better months ahead.

. IHS Market said that the services sector in Australia continued to expand in October, and at a faster pace, with a seasonally adjusted services PMI score of 53.7. That's up from 50.8 in September and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

Individually, new business rose again, albeit marginally, while employment shrunk at a slower rate. Business sentiment was at its strongest in more than two years.

With sales growth still subdued, firms were able to work through previously-placed orders, resulting in a third straight monthly decline in backlogs of work, though the latest depletion was the weakest in this sequence.

The survey also showed that the composite index came in at 53.5, up from 51.1 in the previous month.

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