Growth, inflation and labour market all easing
Our data mapping points to another retail sales fall in August.
Clearly we continue to see very challenging retail conditions in lockdown-affected areas, with hospitality hit particularly hard. That said, our data shows some signs that hospitality is now bottoming out. Household goods, clothing and footwear and department stores have also been weak, although August shows these declines perhaps partly arrested.
In somewhat encouraging news, the August NAB Monthly Business Survey surprised on the upside. Both conditions and confidence saw a small improvement in the month, though the latter remains well into negative territory, reflecting a sharp deterioration in Victoria and more generally, the degree of uncertainty in the economy as lockdowns persist and the timing of a full re-opening remains unknown. We will closely monitor how businesses and consumers respond to reopening in New South Wales and Victoria while virus continues to circulate.
For more information, please see the NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index August 21
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