Australia Retail Sales Gain 0.2% In April

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Retail sales in Australia added a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday - coming in at A$23.168 billion.

That missed forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent following the 0.1 percent gain in March.

Among the individual components of the survey, food retailing was up 0.3 percent, along with household goods retailing (0.6 percent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.7 percent) and other retailing (0.2 percent).

Department store retail was relatively unchanged (0.0 percent), while clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing fell 0.1 percent.

By region, retail sales in New South Wales added 0.7 percent, followed by Victoria (0.5 percent), Queensland (0.2 percent), Tasmania (0.3 percent) and the Northern Territory (0.4 percent).

Sales in Western Australia (-0.2 percent), the Australian Capital Territory (-0.7 percent) and South Australia (-0.1 percent) were down.

Also on Tuesday, the ABS said that Australia saw a current account deficit of A$5.67 billion in the first quarter of 2014 - up 52 percent on quarter.

That beat forecasts for a shortfall of A$7.0 billion following the downwardly revised deficit of A$11.7 billion in Q4 (originally a deficit of A$10.1 billion).

Exports of goods and services gained A$4.959 billion (6 percent) and imports of goods and services added A$759 million (1 percent). The primary income deficit fell A$1.811 billion (17 percent).

In seasonally adjusted, the net goods and services surplus surged A$5.315 billion (54 percent) to A$15.118 billion in Q1.

Net exports of GDP climbed 1.4 percent - beating forecasts for 0.80 and up from 0.60 in the previous three months.

Australia's net international investment liability position was A$850.4 billion, an increase of A$11.9 billion from Q4. Australia's net foreign debt liability fell A$3.2 billion to a net liability position of A$855.6 billion. Australia's net foreign equity shed A$15.1 billion to a net asset position of A$5.2 billion.

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