Retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in August

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures show that Australian retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in August following a fall of 0.1 per cent in July 2015, seasonally adjusted.

In seasonally adjusted terms the largest contributor to the rise was food retailing (0.6 per cent). Other retailing (1.3 per cent), department stores (1.3 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.2 per cent) also rose. There were falls in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.4 per cent) and cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.3 per cent).

National Retail Association CEO Trevor Evans said the figures show the economy is on the right track.

“The figures signal renewed consumer confidence across the retail industry,” he said.

“After disappointing figures in July saw sales drop for the first time in more than a year, it’s pleasing to see that consumer spending has picked up in August.

“These figures for August indicate that consumers are certainly feeling more confident and cashed up than they were at the start of the new financial year.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in Victoria (0.9 per cent), NSW (0.5 per cent), Western Australia (0.2 per cent), South Australia (0.3 per cent) and Tasmania (0.4 per cent). There were falls in Queensland (0.2 per cent), the Northern Territory (0.9 per cent) and the ACT (-0.4 per cent).

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in August 2015 following an 0.3 per cent rise in July 2015. The trend estimate for August 2015 is 4.3 per cent higher compared to August 2014. Mr Evans said the industry should see these strong results continue.

“With the change of prime minister and treasurer sparking an increase in consumer confidence, we can expect to see similar results for the September trade figures,” he said.

“We urge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison to continue focus on economic management, and work toward boosting consumer confidence as we head into the Christmas period.”

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