The NAB Online Retail Sales Index for November which was released today recorded surges ahead of Christmas, rising to 241 points from 209 points in October, but year-on-year growth only edged higher to 27%.
In the 12 months to November 2012, Australians spent around $12.6 billion on online retail. This level is equivalent to 5.7% of the scale of traditional bricks and mortar retail (excluding cafés, restaurants and takeaway food) for the year to October 2012.
November is the peak month for online retail sales – with consumers allowing adequate time for delivery of their purchases prior to Christmas.
Alan Oster, chief economist at NAB, said as the online market matures, it will be interesting to observe whether consumers have greater confidence to make online purchases later in the month.
Australian shares reach 19-month high
The Australian sharemarket has reached a 19-month high today, following satisfying jobs data from the United States.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up five points or 0.1% to 4728.8 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones ended its week up 43 points or 0.3% to 13,435.2.
Lynas shares rise on production announcements
Shares in Lynas Corporation have risen 4.8% this morning to 68.5 cents after the company announced a production update for its rare earth extraction units at the Advanced Materials Plant in Malaysia.
In a statement to the market, Lynas said the process of mining involves cracking through earth to produce a type of rare sulphate.
“The mixed rare earths sulphate is now being fed into the solvent extraction units for ultimate production of individual rare earth products,” the statement said.
“Lynas anticipates commercial rare earth products will be available in the next few weeks with ramp up of production to take place over the next three months.”
Greens renew push to scrap ATM fees
The Greens will continue to push the government to scrap ATM fees, according to reports in The Australian Financial Review.
The report claims Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt says the matter will go to the Treasurer in February.
“We are arguing that the big four be prohibited from charging ATM fees,” Bandt said.
“The payment system is a public good and an essential service and we start with the principle that banks can’t make a profit from people accessing their own money.”