NAB Online Retail Sales Index: January 2018

NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) rebounded strongly in January (+1.5% mom s.a.) from a revised contraction (-1.8%) in December.

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  • NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) rebounded strongly in January (+1.5% mom s.a.) from a revised contraction (-1.8%) in December. While volatility in online retail sales growth appeared to have settled in 2016, over the past year it has re-emerged. Year-on-year growth was also stronger in January, with sales up 14.1% compared to last year. Trend online retail sales is still much stronger than the early months of 2017.
  • ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted sales contracted (-0.5%) in December. Traditional sales were not as weak as NORSI in that month.
  • We estimate that Australian consumers have spent around $24.7 billion over the 12 months to January 2018. This is equivalent to 7.9% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to December 2017.
  • Most categories accelerated in January (yoy), with Toys and Games (20.9% yoy January vs 15.3% yoy December), and Department stores (20.9% vs 12.6%) both leading along with the much larger sales category of Media (20.4% vs 19.0%). Grocery and Liquor (16.2% vs 6.5%), Food Catering (14.4% vs 18.8%), and Daily Deals also recorded double digit growth, albeit with the latter two categories slowing. More mild growth was recorded in January for Fashion (9.9% vs 7.8%) and the largest sales category Homeware and Appliances (8.8% vs 5.5%), with a slowdown for Personal and Recreational (8.4% vs 12.2%).
  • SME sales represent just over a third of all online sales. Seasonally adjusted SME sales (3.2%,mom s.a.) accelerated more than large online retailers in January.

For further details, please see the attached document.