8501.0 - Retail Trade Trends, Australia, Jul 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/09/2008   
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There have been four 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(a), Australia
Graph: Industry trend_Total retail


Clothing and soft good retailing (five months) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (nine months) have had a decline in the trend estimate. Household good retailing has had three months of moderate trend growth. Other retailing has had three months of moderate growth and three months of weak growth over the last six months. Food retailing has had nine months of weak trend growth. Department stores had weak growth in July 2008 after being in decline from March to May 2008.


The trend estimate has been in decline in New South Wales (seven months) and the Australian Capital Territory (four months). There has been weak trend growth in Victoria (two months) and Queensland (nine months). All other states have had at least five months of moderate or strong trend growth with:
  • South Australia, moderate growth in five out of the last six months preceded by five months of strong growth
  • Western Australia, moderate growth for four out of the last five months
  • Tasmania, moderate growth for the last six months
  • Northern Territory, four months of strong growth preceded by three months of moderate growth.


The chart above indicates the level of volatility in the seasonally adjusted series. With the new survey design, it is anticipated that the volatility level will increase from July 2008. This increased volatility will contribute to revisions to trend estimates that are larger on average than those produced under the previous sampling methods. The likelihood of 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 August seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 1.39% higher than the July estimate.

2 The August seasonally adjusted estimate of retail turnover is 0.04% higher than the July estimate.

Graph: Effect of new Seasonally adjusted estimates on Trend estimates