The flash reading is here: August preliminary retail sales

The -4% is not as bad as the -4.2% preliminary m/m result, but is still very weak indeed.

Is there reason to cheerful on an improvement ahead? I'd say not:

  • the harsh shut down in Australia's second most populous state and city is dragging on
  • wage support nationally is being cut back as of the end of September

On the less sad side there are moves to dismantle border movement restrictions ahead which should be a boost.

But I am net very wary indeed for the Australian outlook in coming months.

AUD response to the data is barely discernible. It fell a little earlier alongside other risk trades. The range has been small though.