Retail shoppers in Sydney.
Retail data likely to capture Black Friday spending comes ahead of new stats on prices and housing. Image by Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Black Friday splurge shifting numbers in retail readout

Poppy Johnston January 7, 2024

Australian shoppers have embraced Black Friday sales and new data will likely highlight strong consumer appetite for discounted goods.

The sales period is likely to show up in the November retail trade dataset from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, scheduled for Tuesday, with the event seeming to grow in popularity each year.

The bureau pointed to the sales, which started in the United States to coincide with the Friday after Thanksgiving, when revealing softer numbers for October, with financially stretched consumers probably holding off for cheaper goods.

The 0.2 per cent fall in October retail trade was weaker than the 0.1 per cent rise that was expected.

The Australian Retailers Association was tipping $6.3 billion worth of sales across the broader cyber weekend event that runs from Friday to Monday, up three per cent on the year before.

A monthly update on consumer prices can also be expected from the statistics bureau on Wednesday.

The November consumer price index follows a softer reading in October, with headline inflation sinking to 4.9 per cent from 5.6 per cent in September.

The Reserve Bank has been lifting interest rates to weigh on demand and bring down inflation, but the more comprehensive quarterly number will have more significance for its board heading into the February meeting.

The December quarter inflation numbers are due in late January.

Fresh housing-related data is also due this week, starting with building approvals on Tuesday.

Lending data, including movements in new home loan commitments, will be released on Friday.

Other drops to watch include job vacancies data on Wednesday, which can provide a read on shifting demand for workers, and international trade data on Thursday.

Local investors will react to a dip on Wall Street, which recorded its worst week in months after reports highlighted an unexpected rise in workers’ pay with uncertain implications for interest rates.

The S&P 500 fell 1.54 per cent, the Nasdaq Composite was down 3.26 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.59 per cent.

Australian share futures dropped three points, or 0.04 per cent, to 7462.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday gave up its modest morning gains in the afternoon to close five points lower at 7,489.1, a dip of 0.07 per cent.