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Department Stores Lead Retail Sales Spike

The ABS’ latest numbers reveal retail sales jumped 0.4% to $26.67 billionĀ in May – beating forecasts for a 0.3% increase. The news marks better-than-expected retail sales for two straight months.

Department stores lead May’s retail sales spike, posting a 3.9% rise. By consequence, clothing, footwear and accessories jumped 2.2%.

The Bureau of Statistics claims cold weather triggered a spike in clothing sales, reversing April’s warmer than normal temperatures.

Food and household goods expenditure also increased, climbing 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.

Reflecting discretionary spending levels, retail turnover (excluding food) jumped 0.4% [seasonally adjusted], following a 0.6% spike in April.

Despite the month-on-month increase, annual retail sales are still comparatively slow, dropping 2.5% versus a 2.7% slump for the twelve months to April.

For the month of May, retail sales climbed in all Australian states except ACT and WA.

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