01 Sep '11, 5am

Australian retail rallies, manufacturing softer: Retail trade increased 0.5 percent to A$20.65 billion (US$22.10...

SYDNEY: Australian retailing staged an unexpected recovery in July, figures showed Thursday, but the limping manufacturing industry slumped for another month due to the surging local dollar. Retail trade increased 0.5 percent to A$20.65 billion (US$22.10 billion) according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with besieged department stores up 1.2 percent and food and cafe/restaurant sales also stronger. The market had been expecting a 0.2 percent increase in the monthly reading, which was 1.4 percent firmer than a year earlier. But a leading index of manufacturing activity continued to slip, easing 0.1 points in August to 43.3. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity while anything above 50 suggests expansion. The industry has expanded just twice in the past 12 months. The Australian dollar's meteoric and sustained rise against the greenback has put manu...

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

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