Retail sales beat expectations slightly in November, rising 0.4 percent m/m. Clothing and household goods sales improved, likely reflecting the growing popularity of Black Friday sales in November, which in the presence of stiff price competition implies higher sales volumes.
"These industries were impacted by strong promotional activity in the November month, including Black Friday sales", he said.
As expected, there was a significant rise in online sales, contributing 6.6 per cent to total retail turnover in November.
The authority said excluding motor vehicles, retail sales of last November dropped 0.2 percent year-on-year but rose 1.4 percent month-on-month. Other retailing (-0.1 per cent), and Cafes, restaurant and takeaway services retailing (-0.1 per cent), both had minor falls this month.
Meanwhile, the optical goods and books segment posted a sales decline of 4.6 per cent, while food retailers' takings fell by 3.7 per cent and supermarkets and hypermarkets were down by 1.4 per cent.
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in November 2018, following a 0.2 percent rise in October 2018.
The Australian dollar effected, challenging $0.7200 on the back of the news. Sales in South Australia were unchanged from October.
Turnover also increased by 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.1% respectively in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, offsetting declines of 0.9% and 0.2% respectively in the Northern Territory and Tasmania. The steep slowdown, leaving annual growth in sales at the weakest level since May a year ago, reflects the high base effect created by a huge 1.2% increase in turnover that occurred in November 2017. Research from Criteo that was released well before Christmas also suggested that consumers would start making purchase decisions as early as October, ready to process their online transactions during November's online sales events.
Data from the Commonwealth Bank's records of its customers' credit card usage shows sales across November, December and early January were considerably down on previous year.
"The rise of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Click Frenzy sales have seen households bring forward their Christmas shopping and Boxing Day Sales shopping into November".
"Reports from retailers, e.g".