Retail builds momentum in June

birkenhead, shopping, shopNational retail spending increased by 3.6 per cent year-on-year in June, seasonally adjusted, showing signs of a strengthening retail industry, after 12 months of softened growth, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) trade figures.

Monthly retail turnover rose a slight 0.3 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms from the previous month following a rise of 0.6 per cent in May. In trend terms, the increase was slightly higher at 0.4 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted, retail spending was at $26.15 billion in June compared to the $26.10 billion in May.

Online retail turnover contributed 4.1 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms. There was also a slight rise across all industries from household goods to food retailing, and department stores.

“In seasonally adjusted terms in June 2017, we saw rises in household goods retailing (0.9 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.5 per cent), clothing footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.8 per cent) and other retailing (0.2 per cent),” said Ben James, director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “There was a fall in department stores (-0.3 per cent), while food retailing (0.0 per cent) was relatively unchanged.”

Dominique Lamb, National Retail Association CEO, said the slight increase demonstrates that the industry is once again gaining momentum across all states, nationwide.

“Today’s figures indicate that the retail sector is showing signs of recovery after 12 months of operating amidst a challenging environment,” she said.

“The rise across all industries within the sector is telling that we’re coming out of what has been a long period of sluggish growth,”

Lamb said that the outlook for retailers is improving in the lead up to Father’s Day in September.

“We anticipate a further increase in retail spend in the month of July, as consumers hit the shops in preparation for Father’s Day.”

In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in New South Wales (0.5 per cent), Queensland (0.7 per cent), South Australia (0.3 per cent), Tasmania (0.6 per cent), the Northern Territory (1.2 per cent) and Western Australia (0.1 per cent). There were falls in Victoria (-0.3 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.1 per cent).

Clothing Footwear and Personal Accessories figures dropped significantly in June with a 1.71 per cent year-on-year increase, compared to the 3.76 per cent year-on-year increase the category received in May.

“This substantial drop shows a very volatile retail market as the last few months sales have been driven by the weather and significant discounting,” said Russell Zimmerman, executive director, Australian Retailers Association.

June trade figures remained steady across the board with all states showing a stable growth. Australian Capital Territory (5.33 per cent) and Tasmania (5.12 per cent) lead the pack with robust year-on-year growth. While South Australia (4.69 per cent), New South Wales (4.65 per cent), Victoria (4.49 per cent) and Northern Territory (3.52 per cent) also showed a moderate year-on-year increase. Both Queensland (2.67 per cent) and Western Australia (0.86 per cent) trailed behind the other states but still presented fairly stable figures.

“This steady growth across the industry isn’t uncommon with the rise of global giants entering the Australian market,” said Zimmerman.

“With Amazon recently purchasing land in Victoria we know the retail market is changing and those retailers who redefine their businesses to adapt to the shifting environment will thrive in the dynamic retail landscape.”

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