Retail spending boost as turnover increases

06 December, 2017 by Andy Young

Australian retail turnover rose 0.5 per cent in October, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

The rise has been led by increased spending in cafés and restaurants, and while there was a, seasonally adjusted, fall in liquor retailing, the ABS trend estimate shows a small rise for the sector.

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“In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises across all industries led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.7 per cent),” the Director of the Quarterly Economy Wide Survey, Ben James, said.

There were also rises for food retailing (0.3 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.0 per cent), other retailing (0.3 per cent), department stores (0.5 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.1 per cent) in October 2017.

In seasonally adjusted terms, all states rose. There were rises in Victoria (1.0 per cent), New South Wales (0.3 per cent), South Australia (1.2 per cent), Western Australia (0.5 per cent), Queensland (0.1 per cent), the Northern Territory (1.7 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (0.6 per cent) and Tasmania (0.5 per cent).

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover fell 0.1 per cent in October 2017 following a relatively unchanged estimate (0.0 per cent) in September 2017. Compared to October 2016 the trend estimate rose 1.8 per cent.

Online retail turnover contributed 4.7 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.

Liquor retailing comes as a subgroup of food retailing and the data showed a 0.1 per cent trend estimate rise for liquor retailing; supermarket and grocery stores also saw a 0.1 per cent trend estimate rise.

However the seasonally adjusted estimate fell 0.7 per cent for liquor retailing, while rising by 0.5 per cent for supermarket and grocery stores.

The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, described the figures as “extremely disheartening” coming this close to the biggest trading period of the year, and he urged the Government to alleviate some of the significant cost pressures affecting small and large retailers today.

“With Christmas just around the corner, these trade figures illustrate just how hard it is for small businesses to compete with rising costs, coupled with the increase in global competition and the 24-hour market place,” Zimmerman said.