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Australian retail spending rises again

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016

A rise in furniture and houseware sales helped lift Australian retail spending by 0.6 per cent in September.

Seasonally adjusted retail spending was $25.3 billion in September, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures, beating market expectations of a 0.4 per cent rise following a 0.5 per cent increase in August.

Figures show a 2.3 per cent rise in household goods retailing, followed by cafe and restaurant spending (up one per cent).

Household and food rises helped offset falls in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing.

In seasonally adjusted terms, retail turnover rose all states and territories, led by NSW at 0.8 per cent, then Victoria at 0.6 per cent.

Despite the pick up in annual terms, the results are relatively lacklustre when viewed historically, Commonwealth Bank senior economist John Peters said.

The September quarter turnover dropped 0.1 per cent, with falls in food retailing and department stores.

"Consumers remain diffident despite record low interest rates as they are experiencing the lowest levels of wages growth in almost two decades even though the unemployment continues to ease," Mr Peters said.

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