For the March quarter, retail sales volumes have increased 1.2 percent. This comes off the back of a 7.9 percent increase in the December quarter, and a 4.3 percent decline in the September quarter.
Retail sales are now at a ‘record high’, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, up 4.9 percent throughout the year.
“Consumers continued to spend in January, despite the reintroduction of some COVID-19 safety measures, as case numbers peaked with the emergence of the Omicron variant,” said Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “As case numbers then began to fall and stabilise in February, and restrictions eased, consumer spending returned to familiar patterns seen following previous COVID-19 outbreaks.”
Household retailing dropped 0.9 percent, the only industry to fall in terms of volumes. “Most discretionary spending industries experienced rises in volumes, despite price increases. However, food retailing fell 1.5 per cent with strong price increases for fresh food and grocery items combining with more consumers choosing to dine at hospitality venues,” said James.
Other retailing increased 2.3 percent, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing lifted 3.6 percent, and department stores increased by 4.3 percent.
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