December 15, 2021
Cashless Retail Sales Index: November 2021
Consumers continue to power ahead across the country, with post-lockdown spending gains consolidated in our November data.
- Our data mapping points to another strong month for retail in November. We see the official ABS measure gaining 2.7% on a month-on-month basis. Retail sales rose a stellar 4.9% in October in a post-lockdown rebound – we forecast a 2.8% gain at the time.
- November’s results show that the post-lockdown retail boom in the south-east continues. Indeed, with the Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales continuing to grow, much Christmas spending is being brought forward from December into November. While this trend has been underway for the past couple of years, it is possible that the ABS seasonal factors are yet to fully adjust to this new reality.
- The discovery of the Omicron variant last month initially saw heavy losses in global equity markets, although there has since been a partial recovery. So far, we have not seen signs this variant is adversely affecting retail sales in Australia.
NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster commented
Consumers continue to power ahead across the country, with post-lockdown spending gains consolidated in our November data. Key standouts in the results include hospitality, as well as clothing and footwear, department stores and household goods. The latter three categories likely partly reflect Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales, in the lead-up to Christmas.
The NAB Monthly Business Survey for November, released yesterday, showed ongoing strength in business conditions. Although with gains coming outside previously locked-down areas. Confidence eased, but likely reflects the earlier post-lockdown bounce having passed.
Much has been made of potential inflationary pressures due to higher purchase costs and labour availability. While this has presented a challenge in some countries overseas, it is less of a problem here (at this stage). Our survey reported some employment pressures in November, as well as a further strength in purchase costs (although below that recorded in October). We will further monitor any retail cost pressures in 2022.
For more information, please see the NAB Cashless Retail Sales Index (November 21)