December Retail Turnover Drops 4.2 Percent, Despite Sales Growth

Power Retail By Power Retail | 22 Jan 2021

Preliminary December retail turnover figures have shown a 4.2 percent fall, seasonally adjusted, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported. 

However, when compared to 2019, retail turnover has increased by 9.4 percent. The falls were recorded in five of the six retail industries, explained Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.

“Falls were recorded in five of the six retail industries, led by household goods retailing,” he said.

“Household goods retailing, other retailing, department stores, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, fell after large rises in November. November sales were underpinned by an easing of restrictions in Victoria, new product releases and Black Friday sales.”

There were falls in food retailing, due to restrictions surrounding the global pandemic and limitations to household gatherings across the country.

Despite this, the only industry to experience an uplift was for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.

State by state, Victoria led the fall, dropping seven percent compared to a 22 percent increase in November 2020. New South Wales fell by five percent, as localised restrictions in Sydney impacted the turnover. The only state or territory that experienced no fall was the Northern Territory.

According to the ABS, there was a 2.4 percent increase for the December quarter in the current price, following a rise in the September quarter of seven percent.

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