A surprise contraction in retail trade suggests consumers are starting to respond to interest rate hikes and rising living expenses.
Retail sales slow down as rate rises bite
Interest rate rises may be finally catching up with Australian consumers, with retail trade contracting for the first time all year.
Retail trade turnover fell 0.2 per cent for the month, breaking a nine-month streak of month-to-month increases.
Australian Bureau of Statistics head of retail Ben Dorber said the fall suggested cost-of-living pressures, including lifting interest rates, were starting to weigh on consumer spending.
“Turnover fell in all industries in October except for food retailing, which rose 0.4 per cent boosted by flood-related spending in parts of Australia and continued high food prices,” he said.