Online retailer sales index was reportedly weaker in February, according to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index.

It declined in February down 193 points from 202 points in January. For the 12 months ending February 2013, Australia’s online retail spending totalled $13.1 billion. This is equivalent to around 5.9 per cent of Australia’s traditional bricks and mortar retail sector for the year to January 2013.

Declines in the growth rate of online sales appear to have occurred across all categories of retail, particularly in the ‘online auctions, department stores, fashion, cosmetics, variety stores’ category.

“The year-on-year growth rate for online sales pulled back significantly in February,” NAB reported.

This was in contrast to trends observed in the past three years, where the index in the month of February has been broadly in line with the level recorded in January, which was a relatively strong month.

Despite this, the rate of growth for online sales remains well in excess of that of the traditional retail sector. In January 2013, traditional sales increased by +4.2 per cent year-on-year (on a non-seasonally adjusted basis). When seasonal factors are included, this rate was softer, at +2.9 per cent.