26 Nov

Australian retail sales surge in Oct as economy revives

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2/2 Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk through a shopping mall as businesses re-open to vaccinated patrons in the wake of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) regulations easing, following months of lockdown orders to curb the rise in the number of cases, in Sydney, Australia 2/2

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian retail sales rebounded with a bang in October as the lifting of many stay-at-home restrictions unleashed a wave of pent-up shopping, further evidence the economy is recovering rapidly from a pandemic-induced slump.

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Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Friday showed retail sales jumped 4.9% in October to A$31.1 billion ($22.31 billion), extending September's already strong 1.7% bounce.

That was almost double market forecasts of a 2.5% rise, with clothing stores boasting gains of almost 28%; department stores 22% and restaurants 12%.

The cash splash means the A$360 billion retail sector will make a major contribution to economic growth.

Real consumer spending could bounce back by 10% this quarter, leaving it very close to its pre-Delta peak, said Marcel Thieliant, a senior economist at Capital Economics.

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