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8501.0 - Retail Trade Trends, Australia, Oct 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/12/2008   
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There have been seven 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


Other retailing has had two months of strong trend growth. Food retailing has had six months of moderate trend growth. All other industries have had weak growth, no change in the trend estimate or a decline in the trend estimate for 12 months or more with:
  • Department stores, five months of weak trend growth or no change were preceded by three months of decline
  • Clothing and soft good retailing, four months of weak trend growth or no change from June to September 2008 were preceded by four months of decline
  • Household good retailing, a decline in the trend estimate for the last four months
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, a decline in the trend estimate for 12 months.


The trend estimate has been in decline in New South Wales for ten months. Both Queensland and Tasmania have had two months of weak trend growth. The Australian Capital Territory had a decline in the trend estimate in each month from March 2008 to July 2008, followed by a month of weak growth and moderate growth in the last two months. All other states have had at least four months of moderate or strong trend growth with:
  • Victoria, four months of moderate trend growth
  • South Australia, moderate growth in each of the last three months after three months of strong growth
  • Western Australia, moderate growth for the last eight months
  • the Northern Territory, strong growth for six months.


The chart above indicates the level of volatility in the seasonally adjusted series. With the new survey design, the level of volatility has increased from July 2008. 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 November seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 1.39% higher than the October estimate.

2 The November seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 0.04% higher than the October estimate.

Graph: Effect of new Seasonally adjusted estimates on Trend estimates

Note that the published trend and trend 2 are very similar and trend 2 is not visible in the chart.

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