Retail Up 1%, Dept Stores Big Winner
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Australian retail showing slight recovery as turnover rose 1% in June

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This follows a rise of 0.8% in May 2012, the ABS said today.

A majority of industries contributed to the rise with department stores (3.4%) and food retail (0.9%) the main drivers of growth.

Turnover also rose in ‘Other retailing’ which includes CE and technology sellers (1.4%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (1.0%) – the largest contributor to growth – and clothing, footwear and accessory retailing (1.8%).

The only sector to fall was household goods retailing (-0.2%).

Turnover rose in all states in June but New South Wales was the biggest contributor to the growth (1%) and is on its fourth consecutive monthly rise.

Retail turnover also rose in Queensland (1.2%), Victoria (0.9%), Western Australia (1.0%), South Australia (0.7%), Northern Territory (2.8%), Tasmania (1.0%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.9%).

However, over the longer term, mining state Western Australia is still the strongest performing state (up 0.8% in trend terms), the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirmed.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.5% in June and follows a similar rise of 0.5% in April and March 2012.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the monthly boost in retail trade figures today could be attributed to consumers shopping for the colder weather and was welcome news for retailers.

The rise in consumer spending in particular at department stores in June could be attributed to the beginning of midyear sales, ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said.


“We are encouraged by these figures and hope this is the start of a longer growth trend,” he added, but warned “we are still some way off the halcyon days of strong consistent growth.”

“It’s likely the Government’s cash stimulus and interest rate cuts had an impact on real disposable income however it is too early to assess the impact of the carbon tax as cost impacts are still to be fully felt” Zimmerman said.

However, there is still weakness in household goods while growth in department stores, clothing and footwear year on year sales are well overdue, he added.