Australia Experienced its Largest Turnover for Retail in 38 Years

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By Published On: June 19, 20200 Comments

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shared the latest retail turnover report for May. 

The report, which was released today, presented a lift of 16.3 percent in retail turnover for the month of May, seasonally adjusted.

This is the largest seasonally adjusted rise ever published in its 38 years of the Retail Trade Survey. This comes after the largest fall of 17.7 percent in April 2020.

Retail turnover rose 5.3 percent when compared to May 2019.

via ABS

via Australian Bureau of Statistics

Despite record low levels of trade in April, these results indicate show rises in every industry, particularly in the areas that experienced significant drops the previous month.

Of those categories, there was a significant increase in footwear, clothing and personal accessory retailing.

The monthly rise in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing exceeds 100 percent.

However, despite this increase, the industry remains down when compared to May 2019 by more than 20 percent.

Furthermore, there was a ‘large’ lift in homewares, household sales. This breakdown includes a significant increase in home improvement, entertainment, home offices and furniture.

According to the ABS, turnover in Household goods retailing is 30 percent higher compared to May 2019.

“It’s certainly good news to see retail sales rebound strongly in May and hopefully it’s a sign that we are recovering from the economic sledgehammer of COVID-19,” explained Dominique Lamb, the CEO of the National Retail Association.

“However, we do need to remember the broader context. These figures were recorded following the worst month on record in April 2020 and following the easing of business restrictions, so an uptick was to be expected.

“The fact is many retailers are still struggling to cope following the economic impact of COVID-19 and Australia is entering its first recession since 1991. Retail is still far from out of the woods, but hopefully, the ABS results demonstrate that we are on the road to recovery,” Lamb explained.

The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 16.3 percent ($4038.4m) from April 2020 to May 2020. This result is the largest seasonally adjusted month-on-month rise in the 38-year history of the series, the report found.

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