Growth in retail sales revenue dropped to just 0.2% seasonally adjusted in October, well down on the 0.7% and 0.8% of the previous two months.
The 0.2% figure, which is below market expectations of around 0.5%, resulted from disappointing results in the food retailing sector, which declined 0.2%, and household goods, down 1.8%.
New dwelling approvals also disappointed in October, although the 2.8% decline followed on from an unusually strong 6.8% jump in September.
The volatile apartments sector was behind the fall, dropping 5.5% after a 17.8% hike in September. But in good news for the housing sector, new private house finance increased 0.9%, a result that Westpac economics says points to an “unambiguous upturn” in the broader housing sector.
On the markets today, at 12.50pm the S&P/ASX200 is down 0.3% on yesterday’s close to 6516.4 and the Australian dollar is trading at US87.46c, down on yesterday’s 88.06c close.