Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index

Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index
Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index

The online retail market is slowing, with sales declining over the year to April and also on a monthly basis, according to a NAB index.

Year on year growth slowed from a revised 10.5% in March (was 9.0%) to 6.9% in April, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index. The revised trend estimate for online retail sales is now virtually flat (0.1%), it said.

On a monthly basis, the index contracted in April by 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis, reversing a 0.8% growth in March. 

ABS data on traditional retailers showed month on month seasonally adjusted contracted in March (-0.1%), with year on year growth of 2.4%.  

“We estimate that Australian consumers have spent around $22.37 billion over the last 12 months to April 2017. This is equivalent to 7.3% of spending at traditional bricks & mortar retailers, as measured by the ABS in the 12 months to March 2017,” said a note from NAB.

In line with the headline number, most categories slowed in April. 

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Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index

Click to enlarge

Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index

Against the general slowing were: Homeware and appliances (10.4% yoy Apr vs 8.7% yoy Mar), Games and Toys(14.9% yoy vs  8.2% yoy) and Daily Deals (4.4% yoy vs -3.8% yoy). Media (16.3% yoy vs 16.6% yoy) maintained strong growth while previous  growth lead, Takeaway Food, slowed considerably (11.3% yoy vs 24% yoy).   Personal and Recreational Goods (3.4% yoy vs 14.4% yoy), Department Stores (3.4% yoy vs 8.4% yoy) and Fashion (2.4% yoy vs 4.9% yoy) also slowed but remained positive, whereas  Groceries and Liquor (-1.6% yoy ) is smaller this April compared to last.

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Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index 

Click to enlarge

Online retail sales fell in April, reversing gains in March: NAB index

SME sales represents just over a third of all online sales. While SMEs (-0.4%,mom s.a.) recorded less negative sales, the fall in growth was sharper given the March result (+1.5%, mom, s.a.). Year on year growth for SMEs (10.6%) is still stronger than Corporates (6.9%).

The data is seasonally adjusted where specified, with a leap year adjustment made for February 2012 and 2016.

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Nab Retail Sales

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