Retail sales, dwelling approvals dip in February


Retail sales fell by a seasonally-adjusted 2 percent in February, following on from revised growth of 0.5 percent in January and 3.8 percent in December

Retail sales fell by a seasonally-adjusted 2 percent in February, following on from revised growth of 0.5 percent in January and 3.8 percent in December.

In original terms, turnover dropped by a massive 12.9 percent in February compared with the previous month. Chains and other large retailers experienced a 16.3 percent decrease, while the estimate for 'smaller' retailers dropped by 6.6 percent.

In comparison to the previous corresponding month of 2008 turnover was up by 0.5 percent, with chains and other large retailers increasing by 3.2 percent, while the estimate for 'smaller' retailers decreased by 3.5 percent.

Seasonally adjusted, all sectors experienced a decline in February - food (-0.4 percent), department stores (-9.8 percent), clothing and soft goods (-2.7 percent), household goods (-3.8 percent), other (-0.3 percent), and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (-1.3 percent).

All states and territories other than Tasmania (+1.3 percent) had a decrease in the month - NSW (-2.4 percent), Victoria (-1.3 percent), Queensland (-2.2 percent), SA (-2.4 percent), WA (-2.7 percent), NT (-0.1 percent) and the ACT (-0.5 percent).

Meanwhile, on the housing front dwelling units approved fell by 2 percent in trend terms in February, continuing a fall that has lasted for 15 months.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for dwelling units approved rose by 7.8 percent, the first rise since June 2008.

The trend estimate for private sector houses approved fell by 1.2 percent; while the seasonally adjusted estimate rose by 0.1 percent.

The trend estimate for private sector other dwellings approved fell by 4.1 percent, but rose by 34.1 percent following a revised fall of 17 percent in January.

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