Retail turnover continues to rise

07 May, 2019 by Andy Young

Australian retail turnover has continued its good run, with a 0.3 per cent rise in March, seasonally adjusted, following a 0.9 per cent rise in February, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

Food retailing, which includes liquor retailing, rose 0.4 per cent in March. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.4 per cent. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Liquor retailing (0.1 per cent), Supermarkets and grocery stores (0.4 per cent) and Other specialised food retailing (0.5 per cent). The seasonally adjusted estimate fell for Liquor retailing (-0.3 per cent) but rose for Supermarkets and grocery stores (0.3 per cent) and Other specialised food retailing (1.3 per cent).

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In current prices, the trend estimate for Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 0.4 per cent in March 2019. The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.4 per cent. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Takeaway food services (0.5 per cent) and Cafes, restaurants and catering services (0.3 per cent). The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Cafes, restaurants and catering services (1.3 per cent), and Takeaway food services (1.5 per cent).

Ben Faulkner, ABS’ Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.4 per cent) and Food retailing (0.4 per cent) led the rises, with strength in food prices contributing to rises, especially in supermarkets and grocery stores. Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.2 per cent) and Household goods retailing (0.2 per cent) also rose. The rises were partially offset by falls in Department stores (-1.5 per cent) and Other retailing (-0.4 per cent)”.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in Victoria (0.7 per cent), Queensland (0.6 per cent), New South Wales (0.2 per cent), Tasmania (0.4 per cent), South Australia (0.1 per cent), and the Northern Territory (0.7 per cent). The Australian Capital Territory was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) and Western Australia (-0.7 per cent) fell in seasonally adjusted terms in March 2019.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3 per cent in March 2019, following a rise of 0.3 per cent in February 2019. Compared to March 2018, the trend estimate rose 3.0 per cent.

Online retail turnover contributed 5.7 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in March 2019. In March 2018 online retail turnover contributed 5.1 per cent to total retail.