Another survey has been released reconfirming the reality of the retail industry continues to remain bleak.

National Australia Bank’s monthly business survey for December has revealed that while business conditions for industries like construction and manufacturing made remarkable recoveries the retail industry along with mining and recreation and personal services weakened. This suggests there was little Christmas joy for retailers where retail conditions were -4 points.

As a result, looking at business confidence by industry, the confidence in retailers fell modestly.

In terms of price inflation, it eased in December, remaining subdued at 0.1 per cent, following growth of 0.3 per cent in November. Retail prices were very weak in December – falling by 0.1 per cent in the month – and have been flat over the course of the December quarter. Flat retail prices combined with a 0.5 per cent increase in retail purchase costs, suggests that retail margins were squeezed further in the month.