Retail trade in Australia remained steady in February, with an increase of just 0.2%.
This is a slight slowdown compared to January, which saw a rise of 1.8%. According to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians spent a total of $35.14bn on retail goods in February, a 6.4% increase compared to the same month in 2022.
The report also showed that spending in food-related industries continued to grow, with cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services up 0.5% and food retailing up 0.2%. However, non-food industries experienced mixed results, with consumers pulling back on discretionary spending due to the high cost of living pressures.
The figures are expected to impact the Reserve Bank governors ahead of their monthly meeting next week. Despite the steady retail trade figures, the RBA is anticipating a slowdown in consumer spending due to slowing goods price inflation and higher interest rates.