Australia retail sales bounce 1.1% in Jan, trend still weak

By Thomson Reuters Feb 28, 2024 | 6:41 PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian retail sales rebounded in January after a slump the previous month, though annual growth in spending remained anaemic as high interest rates ate into spending power.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday showed retail sales rose 1.1% in January from December, when it dived a revised 2.1%. Analysts had looked for a bounce of 1.5%, though the series has been very volatile in recent months as spending habits changed.

Sales of A$35.7 billion ($23.18 billion) were up just 1.1% from a year earlier, a weak result given the country’s rapid population growth.

($1 = 1.5401 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Kim Coghill)