Australia Retail Sales Rise Marginally In May

(RTTNews) - Australia's retail sales logged a marginal growth in May indicating weak consumer spending in the economy, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Thursday.

Retail sales rose 0.1 percent month-on-month in May, offsetting a 0.1 percent drop in April. Sales were forecast to climb 0.2 percent.

Even if retail sales rise at a faster pace in June, they probably won't expand by more than 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter, Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Food and clothing sales decreased 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Department store sales dropped 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, cafA© and restaurant sales grew 0.7 percent.

Another report from ABS showed that the number of job vacancies fell 1.1 percent from preceding period in the May quarter but grew 1.8 percent from the previous year. .

Growth in vacancies was noticeably weaker in 2019 than it had been in 2018, Bruce Hockman, chief economist at the ABS, said.

"The growth in vacancies over the past year of 4.2 per cent is well below the year before, when it was 20.8 per cent. This is consistent with the recent slowing in other economic indicators," Hockman added.
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