Australia retail sales to rise 0.6% in May 2024


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian retail sales grew slightly by 0.6% in May 2024.

The increase follows a marginal 0.1% increase in April and a 0.4% decrease in March of the same year.

Robert Ewing, head of business statistics at ABS, said: “Retail sales rose this month as vigilant consumers took advantage of early end-of-year promotions and sale events.”

“Retailers are still relying on discounts and sales to stimulate discretionary spending, following the subdued spending of recent months.”

Despite the rebound, the overall spending trend remains unchanged, with growth of just 1.5% year-on-year compared to May 2023.

The increase in turnover was particularly noticeable in the non-food sector.

Retail sales of clothing, footwear and personal accessories showed the largest growth at 1.6%, a recovery after earlier declines.

During the month, household goods retail sales saw a 1.1% increase and other retail sectors saw a 0.2% increase.

However, department stores saw their turnover fall by 0.9%.

Robert Ewing added: “Many retailers have started their holiday sales earlier and are offering larger discounts than usual. In addition, they noted that consumers remain price sensitive in response to continued cost-of-living pressures.”

Grocery retail sales saw a 0.7% increase in May, driven by a significant 6.1% increase in spirits sales.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway meals, on the other hand, saw a slight decline of 0.1%.

The fluctuations in spending on cafes, restaurants and takeaway meals were attributed to the impact of major cultural events.

Ewing said: “Major cultural events continue to have an impact on cafes, restaurants and takeaways. The decline in May is a reversal of the increased spending associated with LIV Golf Adelaide and the AFL Gather Round in South Australia last month.”

Regionally, Western Australia and Victoria led the growth with increases of 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.

In contrast, New South Wales and South Australia each showed a 0.1% decline in retail sales.

“Australia retail sales to grow 0.6% in May 2024” was originally created and published by Retail Insight Networka brand of GlobalData.

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