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July retail spending weaker than expected

AAP  |  07 Sep 2017Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Retail spending stalled in July after three months of growth, with weaker sales of household goods and in department stores offsetting stronger spending on food and recreational goods.

Retail sales in July of $26.1 billion was steady on June's sales, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Economists had expected a modest 0.2 per cent rise in sales.

The underperformance will likely strengthen concerns that consumers are shying away from spending because of rising household debt and soft wages growth.

Spending on food rose by 0.7 per cent in July, sales of recreational goods including sports equipment and toys rose 2.5 per cent, and sales at cafes, restaurants and takeaways were up 0.2 per cent.

Household goods, including furniture and electrical appliances, fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.7 per cent, and sales at department stores dropped 2.8 per cent, the third consecutive month of falls in that sector.

The Australian dollar slipped back below the 80 US cents level after the release of the retail numbers.

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The local currency was trading at 79.96 US cents at 1300 AEST, down from 80.06 US cents just prior to the release of the data at 1130 AEST.


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