Aussie data dump: Retail Sales (a miss of 0.2%) and Trade Balance - AUD lower


Jan retail sales and trade balance have arrived.

Retail sales:

Markets were looking for a weaker retail sales outcome given the slide in consumer sentiment in Jan amongst other weaker data which the RBA has noted resulting in a softer Aussie. 

Today, the retail sales data has arrived as follows:

  • 0.1% m/m (A miss vs 0.3% expected) 
  •  prior -0.4%

About Retail Sales

The Retail Sales released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a survey of goods sold by retailers is based on a sampling of retail stores of different types and sizes and it's considered as an indicator of the pace of the Australian economy. It shows the performance of the retail sector over the short and mid-term. Positive economic growth anticipates bullish trends for the AUD, while a low reading is seen as negative or bearish.

Trade data:

As for trade data, "Australia’s $3.7bn trade surplus in Dec was the second largest on record, capping a year of strong improvement in the trade position, brushing off fears over the US-China trade war. But imports fell unexpectedly sharply in Dec so we look for a 4% rebound in Jan," analysts at Westpac explained.

Today, the trade data has arrived as:

  • Big surplus of AUD 4549m
  • Expected AUD 2750m
  • Prior AUD 3681m

About the trade balance

The trade balance released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the difference in the value of its imports and exports of Australian goods. Export data can give an important reflection of Australian growth, while imports provide an indication of domestic demand. Trade Balance gives an early indication of the net export performance. If a steady demand in exchange for Australian exports is seen, that would turn into a positive growth in the trade balance, and that should be positive for the AUD. 

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