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8502.0 - Retail Trade Quarterly Indicators, Australia, Dec 2008  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/02/2009  Ceased
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ANALYSIS


TOTAL RETAIL

The trend estimate of turnover in current price terms for the Australian Retail series has increased in the range of 0.5% to 0.8% in each of the last four quarters. The current price trend series has grown faster than the comparable chain volume series in each of these quarters.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of turnover for the Australian Retail series increased by 1.8% in the December quarter. This follows revised increases of 0.9% in the September quarter and 0.3% in the June quarter 2008. The current price seasonally adjusted series has grown faster than the comparable chain volume series in each of these quarters.

A range of factors influence the level of Retail turnover in any particular quarter but these factors can not be separately quantified in this survey. Some of the factors likely to have influenced Retail turnover in the December quarter include:

  • The impact on consumer confidence of developments in global financial markets up to the end of December 2008.
  • Reductions in the official cash rate of 100 basis points effective 8 October 2008, 75 basis points effective 5 November 2008 and 100 basis points effective 3 December 2008.
  • The Federal Government Economic Security Strategy Package implemented in December 2008.
  • Over the quarter, the Consumer Price Index fell 0.3%. The most significant price falls were for automotive fuel (-18.2%), motor vehicles (-2.4%), deposit and loan facilities (-1.9%) and pharmaceuticals (-4.7%). Of these only pharmaceuticals is included in the Retail trade series. The most significant offsetting price increases were for rents (+1.8%), fruit (+8.0%), tobacco (+1.7%) and take away and fast foods (+1.5%). The latter three are included in the Retail trade series.


INDUSTRY

In current price trend terms:
  • Food retailing has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the September 2007 to March 2008 quarters. Since then, the rate of growth in the trend estimate has increased slightly each quarter.
  • Department stores has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth from September quarter 2007.
  • Clothing and soft good retailing has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth from September quarter 2007 with a decline or no change in the trend estimate for the latest two quarters.
  • Household good retailing has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the December 2006 to September 2008 quarters. There has been a decline in the trend estimate in each of the last three quarters.
  • Other retailing has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth from 3.8% in December quarter 2007 to growth of around 1% for each of the last three quarters.
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the June 2007 to June 2008 quarters. There has been a decline in the trend estimate in each of the last four quarters.

In trend terms, growth in the Food retailing industry over the last four quarters has been driven more by increases in prices than by increases in volumes. Over the last four quarters, the Clothing and soft good retailing and Household good retailing industries volumes have generally increased while prices have generally fallen. Growth in the Other retailing industry over the last four quarters has been driven more by increases in volumes than by increases in prices. Over the last four quarters the Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services industry has had decreases in volumes and increases in prices.


STATE

In current price trend terms:
  • New South Wales has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the September 2007 to June 2008 quarters. There has been a decline in the trend estimate in each of the last three quarters.
  • Victoria has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the December 2007 to June 2008 quarters but the rate of growth has increased in both of the last two quarters.
  • Queensland has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth in the September 2007 to June 2008 quarters but the rate of growth has increased in both of the last two quarters.
  • South Australia has had a rate of trend growth of 1.3% or more in each quarter since December quarter 2005.
  • Western Australia has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth over the last two quarters.
  • Tasmania has had an increase in the rate of trend growth in each quarter from March quarter 2008 to September quarter 2008.
  • the Northern Territory has had trend growth of at least 2% a quarter for the last 12 quarters.
  • the Australian Capital Territory has had a decrease in the rate of trend growth from March quarter 2007 with a decline in the trend estimate in each of the last two quarters.


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