Retail Turnover Falls for Third Consecutive Month in August

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By Published On: September 28, 20210 Comments

Retail turnover has fallen for the third consecutive month as lockdown restrictions continue across some of Australia's largest cities.

Retail sales fell 1.7 percent in August, the ABS is indicating in its results. Turnover for August has fallen for the third consecutive month, following a drop of 1.8 percent in June and 2.7 percent in July.

As Australian states continue to experience lockdown, retail is getting hit hard. “Retail turnover continues to be negatively impacted by lockdown restrictions, with each of the eastern mainland states experiencing falls in line with their respective level of restriction,” shared Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.

Despite the dip in lockdown states, Australian states and cities that are not exercising these restrictions have reported an increase in sales. “In direct contrast, states with no lockdowns performed well with Western Australia and South Australia enjoying strong rises as physical stores were open for trade,” James said.

NSW is now at its lowest level since April 2020, dropping 3.5 percent, following another full month of lockdown measures. Similarly, Victoria saw a drop of three percent, following a quick break from restrictions in July, only to be put back into lockdown on August 5.

Further, a snap lockdown in the Northern Territory contributed to a 19.9 percent fall, due to strict restrictions on non-essential retail. South East Queensland reported a 0.9 percent fall, due to a mid-month lockdown. In contrast, South Australia reported a 6.6 percent increase in retail turnover and WA experienced a 2.8 percent increase.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessories fell 15.7 percent in August, with a 10.2 percent fall in department stores and a 2.3 dip for household goods retailing. Other retailing, including online, rose by 0.8 percent.

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