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Financial News: Australia Retail Sales Rise In February

Australia Retail Sales Rise In February

03/28/2024 - 01:53:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's retail sales expanded in February as Taylor Swift concerts lifted spending on clothing, merchandise, accessories and dining out, the Australia Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

Retail sales increased 0.3 percent in February, following a 1.1 percent rise in January and a fall of 2.1 percent in December. Sales were forecast to climb 0.4 percent.

"Looking past the temporary and one-off impact of the Taylor Swift concerts, underlying growth in retail turnover was up only 0.1 per cent in trend terms," ABS head of retail statistics Ben Dorber said.

"After a period of higher volatility from November through to January, underlying spending has stagnated," Dorber added.

Dorber said another increase in turnover for catering services, cafes, restaurants and takeaway businesses suggested that consumers are still prepared to spend at large social events as seen last month with the big crowds at the tennis and cricket.

Capital Economics' economist Abhijit Surya said the moderate uptick in retail sales confirm the assessment that consumer spending is likely to remain sluggish this quarter.

The economist expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates only in November, while markets are pricing in rate cut as soon as in August.

Data published by the RBA showed that private sector credit grew 5.0 percent annually in February, slightly faster than January's 4.9 percent expansion. On a monthly basis, private sector credit growth stagnated at 0.5 percent.

At the same time, annual growth in housing credit remained at 4.2 percent in February.

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