The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade figures show that Australian retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent last September, following a rise of 0.4 per cent in August, seasonally adjusted.
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3 per cent in September 2015 following an 0.3 per cent rise in August 2015. Compared to September 2014, the trend estimate rose 3.7 per cent.
Retail Council Chief Executive Anna McPhee said the figures string together the first two consecutive months of continued solid growth not seen since January and February.
“While other months have delivered small and incremental growth, retailers have been calling for evidence of sustained increases in month-on-month retail activity,” she said.
“The August and September momentum might be a sign that the sector is on a positive and sustainable growth path once again and puts the retail sector in a good position heading into the final months of the year – an important time for the economy.
“A few more months of sustained and consecutive growth at this level and the retail sector will likely be heading toward reaching the long-term average annual growth of six per cent in the future.”
In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in household goods retailing (one per cent), cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.9 per cent), food retailing (0.3 per cent), other retailing (0.4 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.2 per cent). Department stores fell two per cent.
In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in Victoria (0.8 per cent), NSW (0.3 per cent), WA (0.5 per cent), SA (0.3 per cent), Tasmania (0.8 per cent) and the NT (one per cent). There were falls in Queensland (0.3 per cent) and the ACT (0.1 per cent).
Online retail turnover contributed 3.3 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.
National Retail Association CEO Trevor Evans says the figures signal renewed consumer and business confidence associated with the new prime minister midway through the month.
“After consumer spending picked up in August, indicating consumers were feeling more confident and cashed up than they were earlier in the year, it’s pleasing to see this trend continue through September,” he said.
“We expect that the October figures will reveal a further positive response to Prime Minister Turnbull’s first full month in office. This momentum is important for retailers as they head into the critical Christmas period.”