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Australia Retail Sales Rise

22 June 2020 by News Desk

Australia retail turnover rose 16.3 per cent in May 2020, the biggest such increase in almost 40 years.

It is the largest seasonally adjusted rise ever published in the 38 years of the ABS Retail Trade survey, following the largest ever fall of 17.7 per cent in April 2020.

Turnover rose 5.3 per cent when compared to May 2019.

These figures show rises in every industry. In percentage terms, the rises are particularly strong in industries that recorded low levels of trade in April.

There were large rises for clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, as restrictions on trade were lifted during May.

Despite the rises, both these industries remain well down on the levels of May 2019.

There were also large rises in household goods retailing, where retailers reported increases in spending relating to homes, including furniture, home entertainment, home offices, and home improvement.

Australia Retail Sales

Food retailing rose as households continued to consume additional food and beverages at home during May. Levels in liquor retailing remain high, as restrictions on hospitality, such as bars, clubs and events, remained in place for May 2020.

There were large increases in turnover in Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, as restrictions eased throughout the month.

The monthly rise in Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing exceeds 100% but remains more than 20% down on May 2019. Similarly, Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose around 30% from April to May 2020 but remains 30% below the level of May 2019.

Turnover increased across all subgroups in the Household goods retailing industry, with Furniture, floor covering, houseware and textile goods retailing, Electrical and electronic goods retailing and Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing all recording large rises from April 2020 to May 2020.

Turnover in Household goods retailing is 30% higher compared to May 2019. Turnover for Department stores also increased from April 2020 to May 2020.

Food retailing rose 7.2% from April 2020 to May 2020. Turnover rose for Perishable goods (7.0%), Non-perishable goods (3.8%) and All other products (5.8%) in May 2020 compared to April 2020, in original terms.

Annually, Perishable goods rose 14.5%, Non-perishable goods 11.8%, and All other products 2.5%. The annual growth of 13% in Food retailing is consistent with consumers purchasing additional food and beverage for home consumption.

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