Australian retail sales were flat in October 2012, coming in at A$21.5bn, said the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The agency noted that the sluggish retail sales despite Reserve Bank cutting interest rates while the sales figures follow a seasonally adjusted 0.5% gain in September and a rise of 0.3% in August 2012.

In terms of trends, retail turnover increased 0.4% in October 2012, compared with October 2011

The largest contributor in October sales was food retailing, which grew 0.5%, followed by a 0.1% gain in household goods.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were flat, while clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing shed 0.4%, and department stores fell 0.1% in October 2012.

Sales in Western Australia were up 0.8% followed by Queensland (0.2%), New South Wales (0.1%), the Australian Capital Territory (0.2%) and the Northern Territory (0.1%).

Also, sales in Victoria and South Australia were unchanged and Tasmania sales dropped 0.7%.

On a yearly basis, inflation grew 2.5% after rising 2.4% September. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said economists had been forecasting a rise of 0.4% for October.

The agency also noted that company operation profits dropped 2.9% on quarter, beating forecasts for a fall of 3% after easing an upwardly revised 0.3% in Q2.