Australian weak retail sales, jobs point to need for more stimulus

SWATI PANDEY | March 4, 2019

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Australian retail sales surprisingly fell last quarter while growth in September was weaker-than-expected, underlining the need for even more stimulus to jumpstart the slowing economy. Retail sales inched up 0.2% in September after a respectable 0.4% gain in August, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed on Monday. 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.Retail volumes have now recorded falls in three of the past four quarters to be down 0.2% from a year ago. The last time annual volumes were this weak was in the early 1990s recession.

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