Australia Inflation Rebounds; Retail Sales Rise Most In 10 Months

Australia Inflation Rebounds; Retail Sales Rise Most In 10 Months

January 17, 2023

Australia’s inflation accelerated in November on higher housing and food prices and retail sales posted its biggest growth in ten months, official data revealed Wednesday.

The monthly consumer price index indicator advanced to 7.3 percent in November from 6.9 percent in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported.

The annual growth was driven by the 9.6 percent rise in housing and 9.4 percent increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Michelle Marquardt, ABS Head of Prices Statistics, said increasing operating costs, including wages, electricity, and weather affected reductions in food supplies continued to drive prices up.

Transport cost advanced 9.0 percent and furniture, household equipment and services costs moved up 8.4 percent.

Retail sales grew at a faster pace of 1.4 percent on a monthly basis in November after climbing 0.4 percent in October, the ABS said in a separate communique. This was the biggest growth since January, when sales were up 2.0 percent.

Nonetheless, annual growth in sales eased to 7.7 percent in November from 13.0 percent in October.

The renewed rise in inflation in November coupled with strong retail sales data will prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia to press ahead with another 25 basis point rate hike at its February meeting, Capital Economics’ Marcel Thieliant said.

In a separate communiqué, the statistical office said job vacancies decreased 5.0 percent from August to 444,000 in November.

However, figures continue to show high demand for workers across many businesses and all industries, in a tight labor market, Bjorn Jarvis, head of labour statistics at the ABS, said.

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