Australian retail sales recover in April

| June 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

Australia’s Bureau of Statistics today revealed retail sales recovered in April, hitting a 17-month high.

Sales grew 1.1% in April on a monthly basis – the biggest rise since November 2009 and nearly three times more than expected.

The figures come just a day after the Bureau revealed the economy contracted in the first quarter after flood and cyclone disasters led to a fall in coal and agricultural exports.

The economy, dubbed the “wonder from down under”, contracted by 1.2% in the January to March period – the largest quarterly contraction since 1991 – the last time Australia was in recession.

It is also the first time that growth has fallen since the final quarter of 2008 – at the peak of the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, returning to today’s figures, department store spending grew 3.6%, while clothing and footwear increased 1.2%.

However, consumers spent 0.3% less in April at cafes and restaurants.

In other news today, figures showed Australia’s trade surplus narrowed in April with exports up 0.5% on the month to AUS$25.3 million, while imports grew by 1% to AUS$23.7 million.

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