Retail spending continues rise in October

Christmas ShoppingNational retail spending saw 3.3 per cent growth year-on-year in October, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) trade figures released late last week.

Monthly retail turnover saw a 0.5 per cent increase in October, with the diverse “other retailing” category, that includes toys, books, cosmetics, sporting goods and entertainment media driving the increase.

This follows a rise of 0.6 per cent in September and a rise of 0.6 per cent in August 2016.

Total retail spending rose to $25.6 billion in October, from the $25.3 billion in September, ABS data shows, with the latest figures representing the strongest three-monthly rise in retail turnover since July-September 2014.

According to Dominique Lamb, National Retail Association chief executive, the latest figures released by ABS indicate the retail industry is on track for record sales during the Christmas trade period.

“The NRA has projected consumers to spend over $1 billion a day during the Christmas trade period – which encompasses the final two weeks of November and all of December – and the October figures show that the industry is well and truly on track to smash the record spend for the Christmas trade period,” Lamb said.

“Retailers right around Australia should feel heartened by the October ABS figures as they demonstrate that the industry is set to experience a very Merry Christmas in 2016,” she added.

Food retailing spending saw 0.6 per cent increase in October and household goods rose by 0.7 per cent, with the strongest increase seen in the “other retailing” category, 0.8 per cent. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services had a 0.4 per cent increase. There were decreases in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, 0.4 per cent; and department stores, 0.4 per cent.

Online retailing also performed well, contributing 3.9 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.

The ABS release also showed that every single state and territory enjoyed a rise in retail sales in trend terms for October 2016.

“In trend terms each state and territory experienced a rise for October 2016, with the strongest gains in Queensland (0.7 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (0.6 per cent) and Victoria (0.4 per cent),” Lamb said.

“Queensland recorded the strongest rise of all the states in trend terms and the NRA is predicting the sunshine state to perform strongly in December following extended trading hours for South-East Queensland that kicked into effect on December 1.”

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