Growth, inflation and labour market all easing
At -0.6% the latest seasonally adjusted NAB online retail sales index shows sales contracted in October, a deterioration on the revised 1.4% recorded in September.
At -0.6% the latest seasonally adjusted NAB online retail sales index shows sales contracted in October, a deterioration on the revised 1.4% recorded in September. At 0.2%, the trend estimate for online retail sales was lower than the previous two months (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 September to be 0.3% (mom, s.a.) higher than August, and 4.1% higher than a year ago.
In dollar terms, we estimate Australians spent $17.9 billion on online retail in the 12 months to October 2015. This level is equivalent to 7.2% 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.
By category, there were mixed results in October. In year on year terms, though slowing, growth was highest for electronic games and toys (+32.4% yoy from 37.5% yoy in September). This category still represents 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. Sales growth in the next fastest category, Media, accelerated (21.2%, yoy, from 17% yoy in September), along with Fashion (10.6% yoy vs 8.8% September), and Grocery and Liquor (5.9% vs 4% September). While the growth rate for Personal and Recreational (9% yoy) was unchanged, Department and Variety was more subdued.
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