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Oz Retail Sales Suffer In February

Retail sales fell by 1.1 per cent for the month of February, according to early figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The result was an unexpected dip after market forecasts predicted an increase of 0.6 per cent in spending, following a 0.5 per cent rise in January.

The ABS blamed the decline on ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in some parts of Australia, however the figure was offset by retail sales jumps in NSW and Queensland.

“Restrictions due to COVID-19 in Victoria, and parts of Western Australia, drove the February fall,” said ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys Ben James.

“Victoria fell 4 per cent, and Western Australia fell 6 per cent, as trade was restricted for five days in each state.

“The falls were partially offset by rises in New South Wales and Queensland. Both these states had seen trade impacted by COVID-19 in January, and in February saw rises in industries such as clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores.”

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