Inside Retail presents the Australian Retail Index.
The index gives a quick overview of retail statistics in four key categories; fashion and accessories, furniture and homewares, sporting and recreational, and other.
Key retail statistics are shown weekly, with yearly comparisons available.
Overall retail sales have dropped unexpectedly by 3.29 per cent, compared to the previous weeks positive result. Retailers will be hoping that this is the calm before the Christmas storm and that the next three weeks of trading will be more solid. The fashion and accessories sector was the biggest contributor to the negative result, with a significant downturn seen last week.
Queensland bucked the negative trend in the eastern states with a 1.8 per cent increase in overall sales. Interestingly, the fashion and accessories sector posted a positive gain in this state of 6.56 per cent, proving that the individual regions often experience very different trading results to the overall national figures.
Consumer buying behaviour is showing some signs of predictability leading up to Christmas, with the number of layby purchases increasing by over 27 per cent in the last week. Shoppers are also spending slightly more with average basket size increasing by 4.89 per cent in the last week.
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