According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian retail sales in November (trend estimates) were $18.4231 billion, up 0.1% on the previous month, up 1.9% on November 2007.
The attached graph shows that the rate of growth in retail sales weakened steadily over 2007-2008 before recovering somewhat.
In terms of the detail, ABS notes that the food retailing industry had a period of weak growth from November 2007 through to April 2008, followed by seven months of moderate or strong growth. Other retailing 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.
You can see why firms like department store David Jones have experienced a degree of trouble.
The trend estimate has been in decline in New South Wales for ten months. No surprise there.
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.