Growth, inflation and labour market all easing
The NAB Online Retail Sales Index continues to exhibit considerable strength.
NAB Chief Economist, Alan Oster commented:
In month-on-month terms, our NAB Online Retail Sales Index continued to grow in September, albeit slowing. Growth accelerated when comparing this September to the same month 2020, i.e. in year-on-year terms. The index continues to exhibit considerable strength, given that the base of September 2020 had already grown over 61% on September 2019.
Growth in monthly sales in September was highest for ACT. Contribution to headline growth was driven by two of the three key sales states, VIC, and NSW. In year-on-year terms, while all states were positive, ACT (90.7%) and NSW (68.7%) are driving the strong growth rate, with all other states growing under 20% year-on-year.
As lockdowns eased in September for QLD, growth in month-on-month terms contracted for all categories, except takeaway food, in that state. Indeed, the category results were quite mixed by state this month. While generally the highest growth by category continues for the lockdown states, cases of high growth were recorded for categories like homewares and appliances in the non-lockdown state of WA. Monthly sales growth for grocery and liquor continued in ACT and VIC, despite a contraction in all other states. Fashion recorded the fastest growth this month, and was fourth fastest over the year, with particularly strong growth in year-on-year terms for the category in locked down NSW and ACT.
Metro VIC led growth in the month, while regional NSW was second fastest. In QLD, the contraction was considerably worse for metro areas, which aligns with previous post-lockdown experiences. Having said that, in year-on-year terms, metro QLD is still up 15.5%. For most states, year-on-year growth was highest for metro areas, although for TAS, and to a lesser extent, VIC, regional growth outpaced metro.
In month-on-month growth terms, with domestic retailers slowing, international tended to outpace in most categories. This was particularly the case for key international sales share categories, fashion, and games and toys. However, in year-on-year terms, these key international categories still grew faster for domestic retailers.
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