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Australia's retail sales rise, suggesting rate cuts buoying consumption
[SYDNEY] Australian retail sales rose in August, suggesting recent interest rate cuts and government tax rebates had helped lift consumer spending in a welcome sign for policymakers.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retail sales climbed 0.4 per cent in August after a flat outcome in July. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 0.5 per cent.
The outcome will please the Reserve Bank of Australia which just this week chopped its benchmark rate to a record low 0.75 per cent in a bid to revive employment growth, consumer spending and inflation.