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March Oz Retail Sales Soar

Preliminary ABS numbers reveal a better-than-expected surge in local retail sales for March, prompt by ‘panic buying’ staples in preparation for lockdown, plus home office electrical equipment.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ final estimate of local retail sales is due on May 6.

Preliminary ABS retail sales estimates reveal a 8.2% [seasonally adjusted] jump in March, from February.

The result is notably larger than many economists’ expectations, lifting sales to a high of A$30 billion. 

Retail sales leapt A$2.28 billion in February.

Some commentators claim ‘consumer panic’ may have somewhat rescued first quarter economic results, with an implied increase to GDP despite contractions expected.

“These preliminary figures indicate unprecedented demand in March in the Food retailing industry, with strong sales across supermarkets, liquor retailing and other specialized food,” reads an ABS’ statement.’

Some market commentators warn the jump in March retail sales could be swiftly diminished, with signs ‘panic buying’ has dropped and consumer behaviour shifting.


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