Retail sales in Australia rose by a modest 0.1% in November from a month earlier, a disappointing result considering interest rates remained at a record low in the run-up to the holiday period.
The rise in retail sales was lower than the 0.2% growth economists were expecting, and was the weakest increase since August, when sales grew at roughly the same pace as in November.
The result reflects lackluster confidence among businesses and consumers as unemployment hovers near decade highs amid a sharp slowdown in mining investment, which has powered Australia's economy for close to a decade.
There was strength in the food and household-goods sector, as well as in cafe-and-restaurant sales--offset by weakness in pharmaceuticals, books and various types of recreational spending. Department-store sales were flat following signs of strength in September and October.
The weakest result was in New South Wales state, where retail sales fell by 0.2%. The strongest growth was in Australia's Northern Territory, where sales rose by 1.6%.
Source : MarketWatch