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Sunday, 3 November 2019

Australian retail sales disappoints in September, Aussie slips

November 4, 2019

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian retail sales surprisingly fell last quarter while growth in September was weaker-than-expected, suggesting recent interest rate cuts and government tax rebates were not enough to lift consumer spending.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday showed retail sales inched up 0.2% in September after a respectable 0.4% gain in August. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected an increase of 0.5%.

Quarterly data showed sales slipped 0.1% in inflation-adjusted terms in the three months to September following an already sedate June quarter. Analysts were looking for a 0.2% rise.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will be disappointed by the outcome as it only last month chopped its benchmark rate for a third time this year to a record low 0.75% in a bid to revive employment growth, consumer spending and inflation.

Separate data on Monday showed Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the internet fell in October to the lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years.

The disappointing data on retail sales and employment knocked the local dollar off a near three-month top to $0.6904.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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