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Australia released its retail sales data for the month of December and is considered slightly positive in which was a weak month, according to analysts at ANZ Research. 

Key quotes

“Retail volumes grew 0.5% q/q in Q4 after no volume growth over the three previous quarters.”

“Monthly sales in December went backwards (-0.5% m/m), but this was likely due to retail sales being pulled forward from December to Black Friday sales in November.”

“The quarterly retail result is likely to be of comfort for the RBA after its decision to keep interest rates on hold in February.” 

“Structural barriers to discretionary spending remain (high levels of debt, elevated prices of essential services such as utilities and health and low interest income for savers), but December quarter growth represented a positive for real retail spending (from -0.3% y/y Sep to 0.4% y/y Dec). An encouraging sign, but still too early to interpret this as a turn in the trend of retail sales growth.”