Unemployment falls as well in double-edged economy
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/15/2013 -- Sales had remained in a disappointing slump in November and the job vacancies continued to shrink in Australia; however, now there has been a noticeable lift in sales that have helped to temper some of the earlier pessimism that surrounded Australia's economic slowing.
A new survey noted that major Australian builders showed a collective 4.7% rise in sales over November. That was the second monthly rise in as many months.
"Against the backdrop of late 2012, when we had lower borrowing rates combining with a number of states encouraging new home building through amendments to first-home-buyer assistance, it is promising to see sales moving in the right direction," said Geordan Murray, an economist at the Housing Industry Association, which conducted the survey.
Rate cuts through the last year aside, retail had shrunk 0.1% to $21.53 billion within November, and posted a 0% growth in October.
Declines in sales were large at the department, hardware, and furniture stores. Still, many offset by rises in newspaper and book sales.
JP Morgan's Tom Kennedy stated that he expected sales to rise. This was a common belief amongst economists, who see the rising jobless rate and deleveraging of consumers as something that might continue to undermine more luxury/discretionary sales for the coming months.
"It was the fifth consecutive month that the clothing and accessory category contracted, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that this sector in particular has seen heavy discounting and is being drained by the shift towards online offshore retailers, thanks especially to a favorable Australian dollar," he said.
Australian Retailer Association head Margy Osmond stated that the results would likely “send chills through retailers spines as they look forward to 2013”.
More data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the number of vacancies fell to near 7% in three months leading up to November. That is coupled with the rather positive news that unemployment was down to 5.2%
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