Retail sales rebounded in January after two months of tepid outcomes, although the underlying pulse was one of sluggish household consumption as record-low wages growth eats into spending power.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Monday showed retail sales rose 0.4 per cent in January, in line with market forecasts and up from a 0.1 per cent fall in December.

Monday's data showed sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories dipped 0.4 per cent, likely in part due to ...
SHARE Share on Facebook SHARE Share on Twitter TWEET Link Monday’s data showed sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories dipped 0.4 per cent, likely in part due to falling prices amid intense competition. Photo: Rob Homer

The bounce-back will provide some comfort to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) given it was a pick-up in household consumption that helped the economy dodge a recession in the fourth quarter of last year.

Australia’s $1.6 trillion economic output climbed 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, handily outpacing forecasts.

Yet with wages growth so anaemic, consumers only managed to…