Retail took a 1.4% dive in April, says the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) which registered a fall accross all sectors of 0.2%.
According to the BSI, retail registered the biggest fall of all the industry sectors in April with a loss of 1.4%. The BSI, which tracks spending in the Australian market, indicated that sales fell in April across all sectors by 0.2%. Curiously, if one doesn’t take retail sales account, the BSI found that sales have risen by 0.3%, which is the highest rise since November 2009.
“The retail sector is clearly struggling,” said Matt Comyn, Executive General Manager, Local Business Banking of the Commonwealth Bank.
“Online retailing is becoming increasingly prevalent, affecting traditional retail model. This being compounded by the effects of a strong Australian dollar and consumers who are still unwilling to spend.”
But other sectors also recorded a negative growth. Mail Order & Telephone Order Providers fell by 1.3% and Automobiles & Vehicle sales registered a fall of 0.4%.
On the other side, the continual growth of some sectors is positive and promising. On the front is the Amusement & Entertainment sector which grew by 1.2%, closely followed by the Clothing Stores and the Utilities sectors which grew by 0.9%.
Territory wise, NSW registered the worst performance with a decrease of 2.1%, followed by Queensland with 1.1% and South Australia with 0.8%. On the other side of the spectrum is ACT with a rise in sales of 0.5%, followed by the Northern Territory with 0.2% and Tasmania with a growth of 0.1%.
“Conservatism is still clearly the word of choice when it comes to the Australian consumer,” said Craig James, Chief Economist of the Bank’s subsidiary CommSec.
“Mums and Dads throughout Australia were spared additional hardship thanks to the delivery of a softer Federal Budget, however we don’t yet know what the full impact of this will be on their overall level of confidence. With a prospect of two additional rate rises over the remainder of 2011, it wouldn’t be surprising if sales continued to trudge along at this pace for some time to come.”
Photo by Amanda Slater