Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal a rise in local retail trade and a decline building approvals in April 2010. Retail turnover in South Australia for was 2.9% higher (seasonally adjusted) than the previous month’s figures. This compares to the national retail turnover which increased 0.6% during the same month.
Recent data has indicated that South Australia’s economy remains under pressure, however this retail data provides some positive news. Retail spending has suffered from premature interest rate rises and businesses have been unable to build any momentum. Since the beginning of the economic downturn, retail data has been highly volatile and consumers have remained cautious with discretionary spending. As reflected in the national figures, consumers need more confidence to spend and interest rates must be left on hold in the coming months.
Local building approval figures followed the national trend with a significant decrease in April 2010. Data revealed that South Australian building approvals decreased by a seasonally adjusted 22.5% in April. This was in line with the national trend which saw a decrease of 14.8%. Approvals for private housing in South Australia decreased by 15.3%, while national figures saw a 13.5%decrease. Building approvals declined across the country in April, confirming the fragility of the economic recovery. Building confidence is heavily dependant on interest rates and these figures show the detrimental impact of six interest rate rises since October.
Please note that the statistical data is sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.