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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