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Australian retail sales data due today

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Preliminary Retail Sales for June

The backdrop to this data is:

  • lock-downs in Melbourne for two weeks from May 28
  • and then in the back part of June for Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin

hence the consensus call for -0.5%.

But … July will be even worse:

  • Sydney will have been in lockdown for the whole month
  • Victoria’s “5-day” lockdown will last (at least) 12 days (an extension was announced yesterday)
  • South Australia also announced a 7-day lockdown yesterday

And, noting this from WPAC, who are above consensus at -0.2% m/m:

  • a sharp contraction in hours worked in Vic points to a material impact on activity. On balance we expect retail sales to show a 0.2% decline. It should be noted that lock-downs tend to generate gains for sectors like basic food which accounts for 40% of total retail sales.

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