Today's announcement of a 0.6 percent drop in August retail sales has surprised economists and is the biggest fall in about four and a half years.
To make matters worse, the previous month's flat result has been re-assessed as a 0.2 per cent slide. All states experienced the drop with Victoria worst off at 0.8 per cent decline, and the previously strong category of cafes and restaurants suffered the biggest decline at 1.8 per cent. Even the supermarket category showed a drop.
The good news released today was that the Australian trade figures showed a bigger than expected $989 million surplus.
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