Very little real growth in retail trade since financial crisis

Yesterday’s retail trade data for July from the ABS were disappointing and continue to show consumers are reluctant to spend. Indeed, in real terms (i.e. adjusting for inflation), there has been practically no growth in retail turnover since the financial crisis (see chart below). This reflects a variety of trends, including a shift to online purchases from overseas, an increase in the household savings rate (see Retail trade restrained by stubbornly high saving rate), and, I suspect, education and health expenditures absorbing higher shares of households’ budgets.



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