Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), and CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete Wargent is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"Pete's daily analysis is unputdownable" - Dr. Chris Caton, Chief Economist, BT Financial.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Retail trade lifts in January

Retail trade solid if unspectacular

The ABS released its Retail Trade figures for January today which as expected recorded a lift of 0.4 percent to $23.88 billion.

This at least puts growth back on track somewhat after a pre-Christmas wobble in seasonally adjusted terms.


This was clearly not a bad result and was the best percentage rise for three months, but the annualised rate of retail turnover growth has now slowed to 3.6 percent.


State versus state

Over the last year retail growth has been driven by the wealth effect of rising house prices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Interestingly the strongest quarterly figures were strongest in Queensland, with retail turnover leaping by more than 2 percent.


Given the dire state of many resources influenced towns in Queensland at present, as well as elevated rates of unemployment in a number of areas closer to the capital such as Moreton Bay North and Logan Central, these figures add weight to my theory that the Greater Brisbane economy is tracking reasonably well.

The Brisbane economy is in part being driven by dwelling construction while mining contractors are evidently returning to the capital.

In annual terms the surprise package is now South Australia with a 3.9 percent uplift in retail turnover.


Industry winners

This month's result was driven by department store spending (+2.2 percent) and of course, cafes, restaurants and takeaway spend which continued its inexorable rise (+2 percent).

Food retail slipped by 0.7 percent over the month, and footwear expenditure also fell moderately - which reminds me, actually, that I need a new pair of wheels. 

Over the past year the standout industry has been household goods driven by the strength of the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets.


Retail turnover in the eating out and takeaways sector has experienced a mind-blowing rise, plonking something of a question mark against the notion of stretched household budgets.


Interestingly the ABS noted that online retail now makes up some 2.8 percent of total sales.

The Wrap

A decent result for January which was the best percentage result in three months, but the annual rate of growth in retail trade has slowed and is slowing.

This pretty much sums up a lot of the economic releases we have been seeing of late - all kind of trundling along, but nothing really stepping up to the plate.