Australian inflation stepped down to 4.1% in the December 2023 quarter year on year. Our calculation of retail price inflation is at 1.9% for the quarter dropping back from 3.4% in the September quarter. The drop in inflation is negative for the revenue outlook in retail, particularly given retail volumes (including supermarkets) are also declining. However, the more rapid drop in broader inflation may help bring forward interest rate cuts and ease wage pressures a little in FY25e.
Australian retail sales increased 3.0% in June 2023. The notable swings for the month were a moderation in the sales decline for electronics but a sharper slowdown for fashion and department stores. The downturn is spreading to more categories and will continue through to late this calendar year. The data also reveals that retail volumes per capita declined by 3.4% in the June 2023 quarter. Elevated price inflation is propping up spending and will fade later this calendar year in non-food and by mid-2024 in food.
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