NAB Online Retail Sales Index – September 2015

At 1.1% the latest seasonally adjusted NAB online retail sales index shows sales accelerated in September (possibly iphone 6S related), an improvement on the 0.6% recorded in August, and a rebound on the July contraction (-1.4).

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  •  At 1.1% the latest seasonally adjusted NAB online retail sales index shows sales accelerated in September (possibly iphone 6S related), an improvement on the 0.6% recorded in August, and a rebound on the July contraction (-1.4). At 0.3%, the trend estimate for online retail sales was lower than the previous month (0.4%), suggesting that looking through the month to month volatility, sales are still growing but at a much slower rate than in past periods. We estimate that online sales are now 5.7% higher compared to a year ago.
  • ABS data showed growth of comparable traditional retailers (ex. cafes and restaurants) in August to be 0.5% (mom, s.a.) higher than July, and 4.1% higher than a year ago.
  • In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $17.6 billion on online retail in the 12 months to September 2015. This level is equivalent to 7.1% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers as measured by the ABS (excluding cafes, restaurants and takeaway food, to create a like-for-like comparison) in the 12 months to August 2015.
  • In month on month terms, all categories except fashion (-0.5% mom) recorded growth in September. Daily Deals which is still lower compared to 2014 (-6.8% yoy) grew in September (+4.8% mom). Growth was highest for electronic games and toys (+8.9% mom), which still leads growth, although it is a relatively small share of spend at around 2.9%, and is the most volatile category series given sales associated with the timing of electronic game releases. Grocery & liquor was next fastest (1.9%, mom), followed by Homewares (1.4% mom), Department stores (1.3%), and Personal and Recreational (1.1%). Media saw much more subdued growth (0.4%) after more rapid growth in August (2.3%).

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