Australia consumer sector woes — add this to the list of reasons

The September and Q3 retail sales data is here … ugly … Australian retail sales for September: 0.0% m/m (expected +0.4%)In the post I pre-empted analyst reactions …
I’m awaiting responses from analysts … let me pre-empt:

  • high household debt
  • high energy bills
  • slow wage growth

all weighing on consumers.

Add this to the list too … (via ANZ):The slowing housing market looks to be impacting.

—Also, Westpac’s response (in brief)

  • The September retail report showed weaker than expected nominal sales but slightly better than expected volumes for Q3 with more of the weakness shown to be due to falling prices.
  • nominal sales down 0.3%qtr for Q3 as a whole, the weakest result since 2010.
  • However that was all due to an estimated 0.4% decline in retail prices, the biggest quarterly drop since 2004.
  • Stepping back, the picture from the report is an unambiguously bad one for retailers — who are cutting prices but finding no traction with volumes.
  • The picture is not quite as bad for consumers who get some advantage from lower prices and do not look to be cutting back on consumption quite as sharply as feared.
  • The wash-up still points to marginal downside risks to the wider consumption estimates in the Q3 national accounts (to be released December 6).

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