Australia Retail Sales Mixed, Home Building Booms

Australian retail sales slipped in December as consumers recovered from a spending binge the previous month but sales for the whole fourth quarter were up strongly, making a healthy contribution to economic growth.

Other government data out on Thursday showed approvals to build new homes rose a massive 53 percent in December, from a year earlier, heralding a boom in home construction.

“These are pretty good figures overall,” said Brian Redican, a senior economist at Macquarie.

“Building approvals were very strong and home construction spills over into the broad economy in so many ways,” he added. “It fuels consumption as people furnish their new homes and it’s
very labour intensive — just try getting a tradesman right now.”

Financial market reaction was limited as analysts had anticipated a pullback in sales following interest rate hikes in October, November and December.


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza