October 4, 2019 / 2:49 AM / 2 months ago

Australia Aug retail sales rise, suggesting recent rates buoying consumption

SYDNEY, Oct 4 (Reuters) - 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% in August after a flat outcome in July. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a gain of 0.5%.

The outcome will please the Reserve Bank of Australia which just this week chopped its benchmark rate to a record low 0.75% in a bid to revive employment growth, consumer spending and inflation.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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