Positive news for retail spending across Australia

29 October, 2018 by Andy Young

Retail spending in every state and territory in the last quarter is above the decade-long average, according to the latest State of States Report from Commsec.

Every quarter CommSec publishes its report highlighting the economic performance of each state and territory, analysing eight key indicators: economic growth, unemployment, population growth, equipment investment, housing finance, construction work done, dwelling commencements and retail spending.

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In order to give a long-term outlook and understanding of the positions for each area CommSec compares the latest quarterly readings against the decade-average for each indicator. And while some regions are performing better than others, in terms of retail spending each state and territory was above the decade-average in the June quarter.

Within the retail spending indicator New South Wales came out on top, extending its lead over Victoria with retail spending being 18 per cent above the decade-average levels in the June quarter.

CommSec said: “Solid home building, low unemployment, increased job security and infrastructure building are key supports for retail spending [in NSW].

“Spending in Victoria was 17.7 per cent above decade-average levels, once again supported by home building, population growth and firm employment.”

The ACT was third, with spending up 14.4 per cent, followed by Tasmania, up 12.8 per cent. In fifth spot was South Australia with spending 11.4 per cent above decade averages followed by Queensland, with spending up by 9.2 per cent.

Northern Territory recorded the weakest result on retail spending, up 5.5 per cent on the decade average, below Western Australia with 7.0 per cent growth.

CommSec added: “If monthly retail trade was assessed instead to calculate the rankings (August data available), there would be no change in the relative rankings. NSW remains ahead of Victoria.

“In terms of annual growth of real retail trade, Victoria is strongest (up 4.2 per cent), from South Australia (up 3.1 per cent) and NSW (up 2.2 per cent). Looking at monthly retail trade, Victoria (up 5.6 per cent) is ahead of Tasmania (up 5.3 per cent) and the ACT (up 4.3 per cent).”

Overall, across all eight of the CommSec report’s indicators, Victoria remains in top spot just ahead of NSW with little to separate the two economies. CommSec said it expects the two states to alternate top spot over the next year.

In the second group is ACT and Tasmania. The third group is Queensland and South Australia. And then there is a gap to the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Speaking about each region, CommSec said: “Victoria is in top spot due to strong construction activity and the lowest jobless rate in a decade.

“NSW is in second spot on the economic performance rankings and has held its relative position on most indicators.

“The ACT retains third spot on the performance rankings but Tasmania is closing the gap, improving its relative position on four of the eight indicators.

“South Australia is now in fifth spot ahead of Queensland, with the former picking up its relative position on business investment.

“The Northern Territory remains in seventh position just ahead of Western Australia. There are positive trends for both economies, especially with regard to the job market.”