The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released retail trade data for June 2014 earlier this week.
The data showed that retail trade increased by 0.6% over the month however, over the June quarter, trade was just 0.3% higher.
Year-on-year retail trade has increased by a substantial 5.5% however, monthly increases in retail trade have been much more sluggish throughout 2014.
Across the individual states and territories, Tasmania (10.7%) recorded the greatest annual increase in trade, followed by: New South Wales (8.8%), Northern Territory (7.7%) and Victoria (6.2%).
Retail trade fell by -2.3% over the year in the Australian Capital Territory and increases were more moderate in Western Australia (1.7%), South Australia (2.8%) and Queensland (3.4%).
Looking at annual growth in retail trade by industry there are some quite divergent results. Trade for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services recorded the greatest rise (9.6%) followed by: household goods retailing (7.3%) and food retailing (5.8%).
Trade for department stores (-3.2%) was lower over the year while the increases in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (3.6%) and other retailing were more moderate (4.2%).
The data indicates we continue to spend on food and as home values are rising, household goods retailing is also picking-up.
The Reserve Bank (RBA) held its monthly board meeting earlier this week where it decided to keep the cash rate on hold.
In the statement following the decision it was again noted that ‘the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates’. After 12 months of stable interest rates it seems they are going to remain at 2.5% for the remainder of this year and into 2015.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Weekly Consumer Sentiment Index was recorded at 115.0 points which was a -1.0% fall over the week.
The index is now slightly lower after reaching its highest level since early May last week. Although it is a positive sign that consumer confidence has returned following the Federal Budget, sentiment is inherently volatile.
Weekly Clearance Rates
Auction clearance rates increased over the week with the capital city weighted average clearance rate recorded at 68.9% which was slightly higher than the 67.9% over the previous week.
There were 1,473 auctions held over the week compared with 1,310 over the same week a year prior however, auction numbers were down from 1,705 the previous week. RP Data collected 88% of all auction records.
The major auction markets of Sydney and Melbourne continued to record healthy auction results which were higher than the previous week.
Sydney’s clearance rate was 76.7% across 588 reported auctions, which was the city’s highest auction clearance rate in 20 weeks.
Melbourne’s auction market recorded a clearance rate of 69.0% across 636 collected auction results. The clearance rate in Melbourne last week was up from 68.5% the previous week.
Weekly Advertised Listings
Over the four weeks to 3 August, there were 32,853 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally (excluding WA).
New listing numbers have increased slightly over the week which is a usual occurrence during August in the lead-up to Spring.
Nationally, new listings have moved to be -5.3% lower than a year ago, while across the combined capital cities new stock being added to the market is -0.6% lower than at the same time last year.
There are currently 205,446 properties listed for sale across the country (excluding WA). Total listings at a national level were -6.3% lower compared with the same time last year.
Across the combined capital cities, total listings remain -11.6% lower than a year ago, highlighting that total stock levels have reduced.
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