03 Aug '11, 6am

Australian retail slump deepens in June

Australian retail slump deepens in June

SYDNEY: Sales slumped for a second month in Australia's embattled retail sector in June, data showed Wednesday, as consumers saved rather than spent and sought bargains offshore with the strong local dollar. Retail sales fell a seasonally-adjusted 0.1 per cent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said, deepening the 0.6 per cent slide seen in May and worse than the 0.3 per cent gain expected by the market. Department stores were worst hit, slumping 3.2 per cent in the month, followed by household goods, and restaurants or takeaway food, each down 0.7 per cent, the ABS said. The Australian dollar fell to US$1.0688 on the data, from $1.0740 prior to its release and well short of the $1.1062 record set last week during the US debt impasse and amid speculation of an interest rate hike. The Aussie's stellar run near or above parity with the greenback over the past 12 months has...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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