Preliminary retail sales fell 1.8% in June: Australia

Australian retail turnover fell 1.8 per cent for June 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “June’s fall in turnover was due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions across multiple states. Victoria saw restrictions from the start of the month, which were gradually eased from the 11th of June. New South Wales, in particular Greater Sydney, saw stay-at-home orders issued towards the end of the month. Other states and territories saw interrupted trade due to mini-lockdowns, as well as reduced mobility between states with the tightening of border restrictions.”

Victoria (-3.5 per cent) led the state falls in June, with the impact of the state’s fourth lockdown more pronounced in June than May (-0.9 per cent). New South Wales (-2.0 per cent) and Queensland (-1.5 per cent) also fell due to stay-at-home restrictions and reduced interstate mobility.

All industries except for food retailing (1.5 per cent) fell in June. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing saw the largest falls.

In seasonally adjusted current price terms, the preliminary estimate shows the June quarter rose by 1.3% compared to the March quarter 2021. This follows a fall of 0.1% in the March quarter 2021. Quarterly volume estimates will be included in the final release on 4 August 2021.

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