RTTNews - Retail sales in Australia gained a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in April compared to the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, coming in at A$19.35 billion. That was below expectations for a 0.5 percent monthly gain following the increase of 2.2 percent in March and the fall of 2.0 percent in February.

Among the individual components, clothing and soft good retailing were up 0.8 percent, followed by household good retailing ( up 3.9 percent) and other retailing ( up 0.1 percent), while food retailing (-0.2 percent), Department stores (-2.8 percent) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5 percent) industries ended lower.

Among individual states, New South Wales added 1.3 percent), followed by Queensland (+0.8 percent), Tasmania (+0.5 percent) and the Australian Capital Territory (+0.9 percent). Victoria was virtually unchanged, while South Australia (-0.1 percent), Western Australia (-2.4 percent) and the Northern Territory (-4.6 percent) all decreased in April.

Also on Monday, inventories in Australia were down a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the previous three months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, standing at A$119.34 billion.

That compared with analyst expectations that had forecast a 1.4 percent quarterly decline following the 1.9 percent fall in the fourth quarter of 2008. On an annualized basis, inventories were down 1.1 percent.

Manufacturing sales were down 2.8 percent on quarter, while wholesale trade was unchanged.

The data also showed that companies' profits were down 7.2 percent - defying forecasts for a 5 percent fall after the 6.5 percent decline in the previous three months.

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