Consumer sentiment experienced its fourth consecutive month of growth in December with an increase of 4.1%, capping off an incredible calendar year. The index sits at 112, its highest level since October 2010 (10 years) and is now 48% higher than the historic low of 75.6 in April 2020. Sub-components “economy next 12 months” and “economy, next 5 years” increased by 9.9% and 5.9% respectively. Whilst the index for “family finances next 12 months” contracted by 1.8%, it still sits 11% higher than December last year after growth in recent months. The most recent ABS retail sales data is for October 2020 and shows growth of 1.4% after two straight months of decline in August and September. Consumer confidence jumped by 11.9% back in October after a jump of 18% in September so it is not surprising to see sales growth in October. The easing of restrictions in Victoria supported positive growth in footwear and personal accessory retailing (6.8%), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.4%), and department stores (4.5%), whilst sales in households goods receded by 1.0% following its recent surge. Victoria saw a 5.1% increase in sales for the period, with New South Wales (0.7%), Western Australia (1.0%) and South Australia (0.6%) also experiencing positive growth. This was offset by declines in Queensland (0.5%), Tasmania (1.4%), the Northern Territory (0.6%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.1%). Online retail sales experienced a decrease of 0.7% after four successive months of strong growth, representing only the second decline in the past twelve months. Online retail sales represented 12.3% of total sales in the twelve months to October which compares to 9.1% in the corresponding period last year.
Source: Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Online retail sales