Retail turnover falls for first time in 2022: Australia

Australian retail turnover fell 0.2 per cent in October 2022, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This is the first monthly fall of the year in Retail Trade, following a 0.6 per cent rise in both August and September 2022.

Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics said: “The October fall in retail turnover ends a run of nine straight monthly rises and suggests increased cost of living pressures including interest rate rises have started to weigh on consumer spending.”

Monthly turnover, current prices – percentage change from previous month

MonthSeasonally Adjusted (%)
Jun-21-1.4
Jul-21-2.6
Aug-21-1.7
Sep-211.7
Oct-214.6
Nov-217.1
Dec-21-4.1
Jan-221.6
Feb-221.8
Mar-221.6
Apr-220.9
May-220.7
Jun-220.2
Jul-221.3
Aug-220.6
Sep-220.6
Oct-22-0.2

“Turnover fell in all industries in October except for food retailing, which rose 0.4 per cent boosted by flood-related spending in parts of Australia and continued high food prices.”

Department stores had the largest fall, down 2.4 per cent, followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, down 0.6 per cent. Department stores fell for the second consecutive month, while clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing is down after a 2.0 per cent rise in September. Household goods retailing fell for the second consecutive month, down 0.5 per cent, the fifth fall in the last seven months.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services recorded its first fall since January 2022, down 0.4 per cent and other retailing fell 0.2 per cent.

“Elevated post lockdown demand and price increases had boosted sales throughout the year in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services. A slowdown in growth in recent months, capped off by the fall in October, shows trading conditions continued to normalise”, Mr Dorber said.

Turnover fell across the country with falls recorded in most states and territories. The Northern Territory had the largest fall, down 1.8 per cent, followed by Tasmania (-1.7 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (-1.4 per cent), Queensland (-0.4 per cent), New Souths Wales (-0.1 per cent) and Victoria (-0.1 per cent).

While Queensland and New South Wales had small percentage falls, these states recorded the largest falls in dollar terms. Turnover in South Australia and Western Australia was relatively unchanged.

Additional information on the October 2022 reference period will be released on 2 December 2022.

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