Today’s release of Retail Trade figures for Sept and the third quarter surprised on the upside due to strong growth in the electrical goods sector (being pegged to the release of the iPhone 6). Seasonally adjusted data showed retail trade rose 1.2% on the month and was up 1.0% for the quarter (the quarterly data is on a volume basis and therefore removes inflationary impacts). The more stable (but therefore less “exciting”, and hence more overlooked) Trend data showed a 0.3% m/m increase and an increase of 0.5% q/q.
Queensland was the weakest of the States with a seasonally adjusted increase of just 0.4% and a quarterly decline of 0.6%. Despite a 1.7% m/m increase in restaurant and cafe expenditure at a national level, this sector saw a 2.4% decline in Queensland. It would also appear that Queensland is leading the nation in reducing newspaper and book expenditure; national figures show a 4.7% m/m decline but in Queensland the sector fell by a thumping 11.3% in the month. Over the course of the past year national expenditure on newspapers and books has risen by 2.9%; in Queensland it’s fallen by 4.3%.
Trend data for Queensland simply confirms the weakness. Monthly Trend figures show a 0.1% decline (the 6th consecutive month of such declines) and a fall of 0.4% over the quarter (the 2nd quarter of falls).