Preliminary Retail turnover rises 16.3 per cent in May

Australian retail turnover rose 16.3 per cent in May 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This is the largest seasonally adjusted rise ever published in the 38 years of the Retail Trade survey, following the largest ever seasonally adjusted fall of 17.7 per cent in April 2020. Turnover rose 5.3 per cent when compared to May 2019.

These preliminary 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.

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.

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