Retail turnover up 3.2% in July

Australian retail turnover rose 3.2 per cent in July 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

This updates the preliminary result of a 3.3 per cent rise published on 21 August 2020 and follows a rise of 2.7 per cent in June 2020.

Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys Ben James said: “Retail sales in July 2020 were 12.0 per cent above July 2019, with sales in household goods particularly strong, 29.4 per cent above the same month last year.”

Household goods (4.0 per cent) led the monthly rises, as consumers continued to purchase large items for homes, but there were also large rises in other retailing, (4.4 per cent) and food (1.2 per cent).

“Turnover in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (7.1 per cent) and cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services (4.9 per cent) rose across the country, with the exception of Victoria, where the reintroduction of Stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions in July partially offset these rises. As was the case in April, restrictions led to significant falls in these industries in Victoria” said Mr James.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in New South Wales (5.0 per cent), Queensland (5.0 per cent), Western Australia (3.8 per cent), South Australia (2.9 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (5.8 per cent), Tasmania (4.2 per cent), and the Northern Territory (3.1 per cent). Victoria fell -2.1 per cent in July 2020.

Online sales made up 9.8 per cent of total retail turnover in original terms in July 2020, a slight rise from 9.7 per cent in June. In July 2019, online retail turnover contributed 6.3 per cent to total retail.

The trend series has been suspended from February 2020 due to COVID-19 and associated changes that will impact the original and seasonally adjusted series.

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