Retail sales figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this morning show we are far from being in boom times. The June figure in current price seasonally adjusted terms was up a meagre 0.2 per cent on the previous month.
Adding to the suggestion that economic growth is now quite modest were building approval figures for the same month showing the third consecutive monthly fall.
According to the ABS, New South Wales (-6.2%), Queensland (-8.1%) and South Australia (-25.4%) recorded less dwelling approvals this month, while Victoria (1.4%), Western Australia (1.4%) and Tasmania (21.3%) recorded more dwelling approvals. Private sector houses approved fell 2.5% due to falls in Victoria (-5.4%), Queensland (-8.9%) and South Australia (-4.0%). New South Wales (0.9%) and Western Australia (5.9%) rose. The value of total building approved fell 2.4% in June in seasonally adjusted terms. The value of total residential fell by 5.5% while non-residential rose by 4.4%.