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8501.0 - Retail Trade Trends, Australia, Nov 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/01/2009   
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TREND ANALYSIS


TOTAL RETAIL

There have been eight months of weak trend growth. This follows a slowing in the rate of trend growth from strong growth in August 2007 to no change in the trend estimate for February and March 2008.

Retail turnover, Australia
Graph: Retail turnover, Australia



INDUSTRY TRENDS

The food retailing industry had a period of weak growth from November 2007 through to April 2008. This has been followed by seven months of moderate or strong growth. Other retailing has had four months of moderate trend growth. All other industries have had a decline in the trend estimate for at least three months with:
  • Department stores and Clothing and soft good retailing, three months of decline in the trend estimate preceded by four months of either no change or weak growth in the trend estimate
  • Household good retailing, six months of decline in the trend estimate preceded by three months of weak growth in the trend estimate
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, a decline in the trend estimate for 13 months.


STATE TRENDS

The trend estimate has been in decline in New South Wales for ten months. Western Australia had a decline in the trend estimate in November 2008 after no change in the trend estimate in October preceded by two months of weak trend growth. Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania have had three, two and three months of weak trend growth respectively. Victoria (five months) and the Australian Capital Territory (three months) have had moderate growth. The Northern Territory has had seven months of strong growth.


REVISIONS TO TREND

The chart above indicates the level of volatility in the seasonally adjusted series. With the 'one-in-two-out' survey design used from July to October 2008 the level of volatility has increased. This increased volatility has contributed to revisions to trend estimates that are larger on average than those produced under the previous sampling methods. The level of these revisions needs to be considered when analysing retail trends.

What-if analysis can be used to assess the reliability of the trend estimate at the end points of the series. The following what-if chart presents the possible change in the trend estimates under two different scenarios. The two scenarios for the next month's seasonally adjusted estimates have been derived from the 25th and 75th percentiles of the historical seasonally adjusted movement distribution. The historical seasonally adjusted movements have been adjusted to reflect the expected increase in volatility from the new survey design.

Note that the what-if analysis does not show the unknown impact of revisions to seasonal factor estimates that could arise when the original estimate for the next time period becomes available. For more information see the trend estimates section of the Explanatory Notes.

1 The December seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 0.92% higher than the November estimate.

2 The December seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 0.06% higher than the November estimate.

Graph: Effect of new Seasonally adjusted estimates on Trend estimates


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