Australian retail sales in March showed the weakest annual growth in 14 months
The ventes of detail in Australiennes have been augmented since March 2010 after the last 14 months, which constitutes an alarm signal for consommation that does not force the house to come as a surprise to its interior. this week.
Data on Wednesday showed retail sales rose a modest 0.4% in March compared to February, when they rose just 0.2%. Sales of A$35.31 billion ($23.53 billion) were up 5.4% from a year earlier, but the figure was down from the 6.4% growth recorded in February.
However, the number was just above median expectations for a 0.3% monthly increase.
While consumers are spending more on food and eating out, they have spent less on apparel, home goods and supermarkets due to cost-of-living pressures and rising borrowing costs.
The burden of mortgage payments is expected to grow further after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised interest rates to 3.85%, a level not seen in a decade, on Tuesday, surprising markets and the majority of economists who had expected a long break.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jim Chalmers said on Wednesday the increase was a “stark reminder” of the economic challenges facing the country, and called for restraint in the federal government’s budget due next Tuesday to avoid exacerbating the problem, inflation in Australia.
“This is a stark reminder of the challenges facing our economy, in particular the challenge of inflation. And a really tough day for Australians who are already under the pump.”
Marcel Thelliant, an economist at Capital Economics, estimates that sales volumes may have fallen about 0.5% in the first quarter, compared to the previous quarter.
“While retail sales values rose at a decent pace in March, we believe sales volumes fell by the most since the closings in the fourth quarter of 2021, and there is still room for weakness,” Theliant said.
We expect consumption growth to slow to around 0% on a quarterly basis in this quarter and the next.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe warned that the central bank could not take too long to bring inflation under control, after the RBA stuck to its forecast that inflation is likely to return to the upper end of its target range of 2-3% compared to the middle. 2025.
Markets are now pricing in a one in three possibility of a further 4.10% rally by August, on top of the 375 basis point rally since May last year.
($1 = 1.5004 Australian dollars)