Australia retail sales in Feb rise 0.4% in preliminary data -stats bureau

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SYDNEY, March 18 (Reuters) - Australian retail sales were estimated to have risen 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, according to a preliminary data series released for the first time on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS said it decided to release a preliminary series, which is subject to revision when the final numbers for February are released on April 3, to provide up-to-date information to help understand the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

In January, retail sales fell 0.3% from December.

The ABS said it will also publish additional information on the impact of the virus on businesses, overseas visitors and students, and employment. (Reporting by John Mair and Wayne Cole; editing by Christian Schmollinger)