Retail turnover rises 0.4 per cent in August

Australian retail turnover increased by 0.4 per cent in August, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade figures.

This follows a relatively unchanged level recorded for July 2016.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest rise was in department stores (3.5 per cent), which followed a fall in July of 5.8 per cent. There were also seasonally adjusted rises in cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.2 per cent), food retailing (0.3 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.2 per cent). There were falls in other retailing (-0.6 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.4 per cent).

There were rises in Victoria (0.7 per cent), NSW (0.5 per cent), Queensland (0.7 per cent), South Australia (0.4 per cent) and the ACT (0.7 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms. There were falls in Western Australia (-0.5 per cent), Northern Territory (-0.5 per cent) and Tasmania (-0.1 per cent).

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.1 per cent in August 2016 following a 0.1 per cent rise in July 2016. Compared with August 2015, the trend estimate rose 2.6 per cent.

Online retail turnover contributed 3.3 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.

Commenting on the figures, Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says they highlight a number of trends in regards to state specific retail trade and varying state economic performances.

“What the figures show is the need for continued growth-focused and flexibility-based economic outcomes,” he said. “We need a real economic, tax and jobs reform package to drive the economy and retail growth.”