Feb 6, 2013

No pick-up in retail last year, backing RBA case

New data from the ABS contains no good news for retailers, with sluggish trade for December and the last quarter of 2012. The RBA's economic assessment yesterday seems about right.

Glenn Dyer — <em>Crikey</em> business and media commentator

Glenn Dyer

Crikey business and media commentator

The Australian economy seems to have ended 2012 much as it started — sluggishly — if the emerging data for December and the December quarter are any guide. We have already seen weak employment figures, weak housing approvals but a slightly stronger trade performance in December at least. House prices however rebounded to end the year positively.

But the other vital indicator, retail sales, ended the year with a bit of a damp squib, down 0.2% seasonally adjusted in December, after a similar sized fall in November, according to the latest figures released this morning by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The report and shape of the data flow adds further support to the Reserve Bank’s assessment of the economy in the statement accompanying the announcement of its rate pause yesterday:

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