Retail sales up 0.3% in April

Australian retail sales increased 0.3% in April, disappointing economists who had expected that the Government’s stimulus packages would have helped lift retail sales by 0.5%.

According to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, sales of household goods climbed 3.9%, seasonally adjusted, with sales of clothing and soft goods up 0.8% during April.

Department stores sales slumped 2.8%, while takings at cafes and restaurants fell by 0.5%.

Some economists had expected retail sales to be stronger due to the Government’s second round of cash handouts, which started hitting bank accounts during the month.

But Moody’s Economy.com’s Matt Robinson told The Age that the figures show that Australian households are doing much better than those in other countries.

“‘These figures support a government looking to justify its stimulatory measures,” he said.

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