The latest statistics point to an on-going recovery for retail sales as consumer confidence grows. In March, after adjusting for seasonal fluctuations, the value of electronic card transactions recorded by retail industries rose (by 0.3 percent). Core retail industries lead the way and with greater growth overall (by 0.5 percent). Total electronic card transactions, which also include travel, health and wholesaling transactions, were down (0.2 percent), however.
The apparel (2.9 percent), hospitality (1.9 percent) and motor vehicle (1.9 percent, excluding fuel) industries drove March’s sales growth. At these levels, this is likely to represent increasing volumes of trade, as well as growth in the value.
Retail sales had dipped over the month of February, so retail sales growth in the March quarter is likely to be modest. This aligns with Treasury’s expectations, in its April Monthly Economic Indicators, for real consumption growth in the March quarter to be flat.