Australia Retail Sales Double Expectations, Rise 1.0% in May

Australia’s May Retail Sales grew by 1.0%, doubling economist forecasts of only a 0.5% increase in the figure after the government’s stimulus efforts put additional cash in the pockets of its citizens. Optimism might not be found in this metric given that it may have been skewed by temporary assistance given to Australians via the government. Looking at labor data, we see that the Unemployment Rate actually grew by 0.2 percentage points to 5.7% in May. Such a worsening figure would not normally be indicative of natural rising consumer sentiment and thus would not imply that increases in retail sales would occur.