While online sales softened up in August, overall online sales were up to $14.2 billion in the last year, according to the latest National Australia Bank Online Retail Sales Index.

In August, the Index dipped from 232 points in July to 224 points. This level is equivalent to 6.3 per cent of spending with traditional bricks and mortar retailer in the year to July 2013.

Growth rates for online retail sales slowed in August. In monthly terms, seasonally adjusted online sales contracted, however when a three month moving average trend is applied month-on-month growth fell to -0.1 per cent from +2.1 per cent in July. This countered the acceleration in growth seen in the past two months.

Sales growth for traditional bricks and mortar retail has also remained weak, increasing by just +0.1 per cent in July on a seasonally adjusted, three month moving average basis.

Alan Oster, NAB chief economist, blamed the softening growth trend on mixed conditions at the category level.

“In year-on-year terms, the rate of growth was down +9.6 per cent – the slowest rate of growth observed in the index – however the rates of growth were particularly weak in Daily Deals and Fashion (which contracted year-on-year) and muted in Personal and Recreational Goods, Homewares and Appliances and Toys & Electronic Games,” he said.