Growth, inflation and labour market all easing
In month-on-month terms, our NAB Online Retail Sales Index contracted for a third consecutive month in April.
NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster commented:
In month-on-month terms, our NAB Online Retail Sales Index contracted for a third consecutive month in April. Having said that, a large revision to the underlying data for March has almost netted that month’s contraction. The drop in April compares favourably with similar published series overseas, with the UK measure (BRC), for example, indicating UK online retail sales fell significantly more in the month, and contracted in year-on-year terms. Our measure in year-on-year terms accelerated.
Our broader measure of retail trade, the nab cashless retail index, suggests a continuation of relatively strong growth in April. However, there are factors likely to moderate near term growth in retail, with particular note to inflationary pressures and rising interest rates, and demand for experiences related to hospitality.
For online retail, what we observed in April, in year-on-year terms, was continued spend growth. What we also noticed this month, was that for some categories, the number of transactions did not keep pace, indicating an increase in the average spend per transaction. This was particularly the case for homewares and appliances, where year-on-year spend increased, while the volume of transactions was lower than a year prior. This resulted in a more than proportionate increase in average spend per transaction. A similar trend was observed in the fashion category. This may indicate the possibility of price rises driving sales growth.
This month in the heat map section, we take a look at the takeaway food category, and the change in growth compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Get all the insights in the NAB Online Retail Sales Index (April 2022)
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