Retail turnover relatively unchanged in March

Overall Australian retail turnover in March 2018 was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms, following a 0.6 per cent rise in February 2018.

Ben James, ABS Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “While there was a rise in food retailing of 0.7 per cent in March 2018 all other industries fell – cafes, restaurants and takeaways (-0.8 per cent) led the falls, but other retailing (-0.6 per cent), household goods retailing (-0.3 per cent), department stores (-0.5 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2 per cent) also fell.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in New South Wales (-0.1 per cent), Queensland (-0.2 per cent), Western Australia (-0.1 per cent) and Tasmania (-0.3 per cent). Retail trade in Victoria (0.2 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.5 per cent), South Australia (0.2 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.1 per cent) rose.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3 per cent in March 2018, following a rise (0.3 per cent) in February 2018. Compared to March 2017, the trend estimate rose 2.6 per cent.

Online retail turnover contributed 5.1 per cent to total retail turnover – up from 3.7 per cent a year ago – in original terms in March 2018.

In seasonally adjusted volume terms, turnover rose 0.2 per cent in the March quarter 2018, following a rise of 0.8 per cent in the December quarter 2017. The rise in volumes was led by food (0.7 per cent), household goods (1.2 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (1.1 per cent).

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