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ANZ analysts point out that for the Australian economy, there is a surprise decline in real quarterly sales in this quarter, which represents the lowest q/q growth in real retail sales since September 2012 (and lowest y/y since 2011) and continuing a negative volume growth downward trend in retail volumes from the past year.

Key Quotes

“Retail sales grew 0.3% m/m in March, slightly stronger than our and the market’s expectations. This brought quarterly sales growth to 1.3%, which is a slightly stronger result, in nominal terms, than recent quarters.”

“Volume growth was negative, at -0.1% q/q – the lowest volume growth since September 2012. High food price inflation explains the divergence between nominal and real growth.”

“Retail volume growth has been below the long-term average for the last couple of years and has declined y/y for the last few quarters. Volumes of household goods and department store goods fell during the March quarter, while clothing and other goods both increased by 0.3%.”