1 Jun 2009

Australian retail sales edge up

1:56 pm on 1 June 2009

Retail sales in Australia rose by a seasonally-adjusted 0.3% to $19.35 billion in April.

The figure from the Australian Bureau of Statistics follows an increase of 2.2% in March and a decrease of 2% in February.

Retail sales were $A19.3 billion in March.

The ABC reports the March figures showed consumer spending had been boosted by December's Government stimulus handouts and a series of interest rate cuts were boosting consumer spending.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector is continuing to shrink. However, the pace of contraction is easing.

The Australian Industry Group's Performance of Manufacturing Index rose 7.4 points in May to 37.5.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to issue its latest decision on interest rates on Tuesday.

March quarter GDP figures will be issued on Wednesday. GDP contracted by 0.5% during the December 2008 quarter.