March retail trade figures show retail sector "chugging along": Australian Retailers Association

March retail trade figures show retail sector "chugging along": Australian Retailers Association
March retail trade figures show retail sector "chugging along": Australian Retailers Association

March trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed strong year-on-year growth of 3.51%, with Queensland (5.30%) and Victoria (4.73%) posting healthy year-on-year improvements.

The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers’ Association (ARA), Russell Zimmerman said although softer than anticipated, the results were reasonably solid results. 

The clothing, footwear and personal accessories category recorded standout 5.88% year-on-year growth in March, with footwear, in particular, recording a 6.43% year-on-year increase.  

“Clothing and footwear retailers have continued to experience rising growth since the beginning of the year, and with colder months ahead we can only expect these figures will increase,” Zimmerman said.  

Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.77%) and food retailing (4.46%) both experienced spikes in sales during March, with supermarket retailers recording 5.40% year-on-year growth. 

“Although consumer confidence has dampened over the last few months, the staggering rise in retail spend across cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services and food retailing, shows that Australians are starting to spend on discretionary items again and treating themselves to small luxuries,” Zimmerman said. 

“It is also pleasing to see that, despite recent droughts and floods occurring across various parts of the country, supermarkets have managed to bounce back, recording considerable year-on-year growth.”

Across the country, Australian Capital Territory Queensland (5.30%), Victoria (4.73%), Australian Capital Territory (3.71%),Tasmania (3.67%), New South Wales (2.70%), South Australia (1.87%),Western Australia (1.14%) recorded substantial growth, while the Northern Territory (-1.30%) recorded negative growth in March. 

“Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory have once again experienced strong year-on-year growth for March, while Tasmania and New South Wales also continue to show impressive growth year-on-year,” Zimmerman said. 

“Although these figures are pleasing, the persistent decline in retail spending across the Northern Territory over the last seven months is still a serious concern and we hope to see it turn around soon.”

Zimmerman said that it was to be hoped that whatever the outcome of the imminent federal election, the resulting government would be able to govern effectively without interference and frustration from minor party crossbench Senators.

“We are happy to work with whatever government is elected, but our overwhelming preference is for whomever that is to be able to just get on with it without constantly being frustrated in the Senate, which has put a handbrake on the process of government for many years now,” Zimmerman concluded.

Monthly Retail Growth (February 2019 – March 2019 seasonally adjusted):

  • Department stores (1.56%), Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.49%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.50%), Food retailing (0.41%), Household goods retailing (0.26%) and Other retailing (-0.59%). 
  • Australian Capital Territory (1.69%), Queensland (1.45%),Northern Territory (1.42%),New South Wales (0.83%), Victoria (0.82%), South Australia (0.78%), Western Australia (-0.07%) and Tasmania (-0.95%).
  • Total sales (0.37%).

Year-on-Year Retail Growth (March 2018 – March 2019 seasonally adjusted):

  • Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (5.88%), Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.77%), Food retailing (4.46%), Other retailing (3.50%), Household goods retailing (0.57%) and Department stores (-0.42%).
  • Queensland (5.30%), Victoria (4.73%), Australian Capital Territory (3.71%),Tasmania (3.67%), New South Wales (2.70%), South Australia (1.87%),Western Australia (1.14%), and Northern Territory (-1.30%).
  • Total sales (3.51%). 
Tags: 
Abs Retail

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