Australian retail turnover rose 0.3 per cent in May following a fall of 0.1 per cent in April, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures.
In monthly terms, the trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in May, following an 0.3 per cent rise in April. In year-on-year terms, the trend estimate rose 4.4 per cent.
In seasonally adjusted terms, there were increases in food retailing (0.7 per cent), household goods (0.9 per cent) and other retailing (0.3 per cent). There were falls in department stores (1.4 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.8 per cent) and cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.2 per cent). There were rises in NSW (0.7 per cent), Queensland (0.2 per cent), WA (0.2 per cent), the ACT (0.9 per cent) and Tasmania (0.6 per cent). South Australia and the NT were relatively unchanged. There was a fall in Victoria (0.1 per cent).
Online retail turnover contributed 3.1 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.
Retail Council Chief Executive Anna McPhee said May’s increase in consumer consumption was buoyed by the post-budget confidence boost and decision by the RBA to lower the cash rate.
“On budget night, the Retail Council said budget announcements together with the RBA cash rate decision would deliver a boost to consumers, and May’s retail figures certainly show a positive and immediate response to these announcements,” she said.
Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman agreed, saying that “consumers appear to have been more confident with the Government’s more conservative budget, and that has played out in the pleasing boost to May 2015 retail trade figures”.
“In addition to the more appealing spending conditions, many states have seen an earlier winter in 2015, driving more shoppers into stores for essentials such as heating appliances and winter fashions.”
National Retail Association CEO Trevor Evans added that the increase in retail trade in May showed that this year’s federal budget had been far better received by households and shoppers than 2014’s.
“We know that a lot of the commentary and speculation around last year’s budget prompted shoppers to keep their wallets in their pockets for a couple of months, until they realised the budget would have minimal influence on their circumstances,” he said.
“While the continued growth is welcome, it’s clear that some retail categories are performing better than others, and some areas of the country still have some catching up to do. Nonetheless, we welcome the positive results and look forward to seeing them continue.”