Australian retail turnover fell 0.1 per cent in April 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest ABS Retail Trade figures.

Retail continues to struggle, back on the slide

Australian retail turnover fell 0.1 per cent in April 2019, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.
This follows a rise of 0.3 per cent in March 2019.
“There were mixed results across industries,” said ABS director of quarterly economy-wide surveys Ben Faulkner. “We had falls in Household goods retailing (-0.9 per cent), Cafes, restaurant and takeaway food services (-0.7 per cent), and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-1.2 per cent), which were offset by rises in Other retailing (0.8 per cent), Department stores (1.8 per cent), and Food retailing (0.2 per cent).”
In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in New South Wales (-0.4 per cent), Victoria (-0.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (-0.5 per cent), and the Australian Capital Territory (-0.2 per cent). There were rises in Queensland (0.7 per cent), South Australia (0.6 per cent), Western Australia (0.1 per cent), and Tasmania (0.3 per cent).
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in April 2019, following a 0.2 per cent rise in March 2019. Compared to April 2018, the trend estimate rose 2.9 per cent.
Online retail turnover contributed 5.7 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in April 2019, which was unchanged from March 2019. In April 2018, online retail turnover contributed 5.4 per cent to total retail.
More detailed industry analysis and further information on the statistical methodology is available in Retail Trade, Australia (cat no. 8501.0).

The rout we had to have

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) announces that retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December, the ABC reports that $60 billion in value has now been dumped from the Australian stock market. That’s a 3.2 per cent fall.
Did the retail experience predicate or perhaps foretell the stock market rout?
Australian retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.
This follows a 1.3 per cent rise in November 2017.
“There were falls for household goods retailing (-2.6 per cent) and other retailing (-1.8 per cent) following strong rises in the November month,” said Ben James, director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “Department stores (-0.6 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaways (-0.1 per cent), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.1 per cent) also fell. Food retailing rose (0.7 per cent) in December 2017.”
In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in Victoria (-0.8 per cent), New South Wales (-0.4 per cent), Western Australia (-0.8 per cent), Tasmania (-1.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (-1.5 per cent), South Australia (-0.3 per cent), and the Northern Territory (-0.7 per cent). Queensland was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in December 2017 following a rise (0.2 per cent) in November 2017. Compared to December 2016 the trend estimate rose 2.0 per cent.
Online retail turnover contributed 4.8 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in the December month 2017. In December 2016 online retail turnover contributed 3.8 per cent to total retail.
In seasonally adjusted volume terms, turnover rose 0.9 per cent in the December quarter 2017, following a rise of 0.1 per cent in the September quarter 2017. The rise in volumes was led by household goods (3.4 per cent), which benefitted from strong promotions and the release of the iPhone X in the November month.
In the meantime, as at Tuesday 6 February 1.30pm on the markets:

  • The Australian stock market opened to sharp falls.
  • The market reached a 3.2 per cent fall, dumping $60 billion in value.
  • The Dow Jones closed down by more than 1,100 points.
  • That’s the biggest single-day points drop in history.
  • In percentage terms, it’s a steep drop of 4.6 per cent.

Retail turnover rises 0.6 per cent in May

Australian retail turnover rose 0.6 per cent in May 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows a rise of 1.0 per cent in April 2017.
In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in household goods retailing (2.2 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.3 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.6 per cent), other retailing (0.6 per cent), and food retailing (0.1 per cent). These rises were offset by a fall in department stores (-0.7 per cent).
The rise in household goods was across all subgroups: electrical and electronic goods retailing (2.8 per cent), furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing (2.0 per cent), and hardware, building and garden supplies retailing (1.5 per cent).
In seasonally adjusted terms there were rises in New South Wales (1.3 per cent), Victoria (1.2 per cent), South Australia (0.8 per cent), Western Australia (0.3 per cent), Tasmania (1.2 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (1.0 per cent). There were falls in Queensland (-1.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-0.5 per cent) in May 2017.
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3 per cent in May 2017 following a 0.3 per cent rise in April 2017. Compared to May 2016 the trend estimate rose 3.2 per cent.
Online retail turnover contributed 3.9 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms.
Winter sales better late than never: retailers
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the positive trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics represent a better than expected trade in May with 3.82% total growth year-on-year.
ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said the May retail trade figures illustrate a positive outlook for the industry as retailers head into winter.
“Retail figures have improved from April across the board with the cold winter snap driving consumers indoors,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Clothing Footwear and Personal Accessories figures have levelled out in May, showing a 3.76% increase year-on-year.
Household Goods (5.11%), Electrical (5.80%) and Furniture (8.62%) have seen the strongest year-on-year growth with many new electronic products launched to the public in late April.
Mr Zimmerman said the late arrival of cold weather might have had a positive effect on retail sales but some retailers are still not getting the sales volume they need due to the considerable amount of discounting happening across Australia.
“Although liquor has slowed down considerably as we move away from Easter, Supermarkets, Cafés Restaurants and Takeaway Food remain strong.”
May trade figures remained steady across the board with all states showing a stable growth. Australian Capital Territory (5.68%), Victoria (5.19%), South Australia (4.90%) and Tasmania (4.53%) lead the pack with modest year-on-year growth.
While New South Wales (3.93%) and Queensland (3.07%) also show a moderate year-on-year increase. Both Western Australia (0.98%) and the Northern Territory (0.62%) might trail behind the other state still show fairly stable figures.
“As we enter the colder months we will see retail growth remain strong, giving retailers breathing room in the tough trading environment,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“We look forward to seeing consumers take advantage of the end of financial year sales in June giving retailers another boost in sales.”
 

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