Australia Q1 retail sales volumes fall for a second straight quarter
SYDNEY – Australian retail sales volumes during the first quarter of 2023 fell for a second straight quarter, a sign that rising interest rates and the high cost of living are working to curb consumer spending.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed real retail sales fell 0.6 percent in the first quarter to A$96.17 billion ($65.23 billion).
That was in line with market forecasts of a 0.6- percent fall and will make a drag on economic growth.
The report also showed growth in retail prices was the slowest since the third quarter in 2021, which might reassure the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) that its aggressive policy tightening is starting to cool demand, albeit slowly.