Release Explanation: This release is a very important set of figures that make up a large percentage of consumer spending numbers. Retail sales are the measure of the total sales of goods and services by retail stores. Retail Sales is an important measure of consumer spending and inflationary pressures. A currency will be impacted by this report over time as it reveals the strength of the public in their ability, or desire, to spend. Steady increases in retail sales apply significant inflationary pressures to consumer prices. With retail trade being the foremost indicator for consumer spending, this figure is extremely important in understanding the economy.
Trade Desk Thoughts: Retail sales in Australia have decreased by 2.0 percent in February which is higher than analysts’ forecasts of a -0.5 percent decrease. This is the largest decline seen in the retail sales report in the past 12 months. Over half of the Australian economy is related to consumer spending. In order to renew more spending the Reserve Banl of Australia has reduced interest rates to a 45 year low. However, the economy is likely to contract this year for the first time since 1991.
Forex Technical Reaction: The Australian dollar weakened significantly in the minutes leading up to the release, falling below the neutral pivot point and finding that area as resistance after the report was released.