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Slowing retail trade may prompt interest rate cut

The latest ABS figures show retail trade slowed by 0.4% in March, after a 1.3% rise in trade in February.
The latest ABS figures show retail trade slowed by 0.4% in March, after a 1.3% rise in trade in February. Chrissy Harris

SLOWING retail trade figures released on Monday may strengthen the case for an interest rate cut when the Reserve Bank meets on Tuesday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures showing retail trade slowed by 0.4% in March, after a 1.3% rise in trade in February.

Among the biggest falls in trade were clothing and footwear, and household goods, down 4.2% and 1.5% respectively.

Consumers continued to spend on food retailing, up 0.8% and cafes, restaurants and takeaway, up 0.2%.

The biggest falls in trade were felt in Queensland, down 0.8%, and Victoria, down 0.6% during March.

But those falls were slightly offset by marginal rises in Western Australia, up 0.2%, South Australia, up 0.3% and the Northern Territory, up 0.8%.

The overall fall in retail trade come after the RBA April statement on monetary policy left the door open to further cuts this year.

In that statement, the RBA board wrote the inflation outlook afforded scope to ease policy further, should that be necessary to support demand.

Topics:  interest rates reserve bank australia retail spending


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