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Retail Sales Down 3.4% In Q2, But Continue To Recover In June

Over the second quarter of the year Australia’s retail volumes fell by 3.4%, but they are showing signs of recovery, with overall retail turnover increasing by 2.7% in June.

“The June month saw the continued recovery of industries impacted by trading restrictions in April and early May,” said Ben James.

“Despite monthly rises in May and June 2020, the June quarter saw the largest fall in seasonally adjusted retail volumes since the introduction of the GST in the September quarter 2000.”

The ‘household goods retailing’ category, which includes homewares and electronic goods, bucked this trend.

In Q2 household goods retailing rose by a substantial 14.6%, with high consumer demand across furniture, electrical goods and hardware. In June, however, the category declined by 3.2%.

ABS: ‘Household goods retailing’ June 2020

The largest contractions in Q2 were in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-29.2%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-22%). These two categories also recovered the most in June, rising by 27.9% and 20.5%, respectively.

Australia’s online sales remain elevated, making up 9.7% of total retail sales in June (compared to 6.1% a year ago).

By state, retail turnover was up in Victoria (4.1%), New South Wales (3.7%), Tasmania (4%), Western Australia (2.5%), the Australian Capital Territory (3.8%) and Queensland (0.4%), but fell in the Northern Territory (-4.9%).

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