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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Service Industries >> Retail and wholesale trade

Retail trade

The retail trade industry comprises businesses primarily engaged in the sale of new or used goods to final consumers for personal or household consumption, or in selected repair activities such as repair of household equipment or motor vehicles.

Retail turnover estimates (graph 21.4 and table 21.5) relate to the value of turnover for retailing (such as supermarkets, clothing and department stores, etc.) and hospitality and selected service industries (such as cafes and restaurants, hotels and licensed clubs, etc.). In order to measure the actual value paid by consumers from 1 July 2000, retail turnover is recorded inclusive of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

These estimates are used by retailers, industry associations, economists, governments and media to analyse consumer spending behaviour and, in conjunction with other economic indicators, to help assess current Australian economic performance. Quarterly retail turnover estimates, along with other data, are used in the calculation of household final consumption expenditure in the Australian national accounts.

Graph 21.4 presents quarterly changes in the seasonally adjusted chain volume measures of Australian total retail turnover (including selected services). The series rose from $30,146m in the June quarter 1992 to $41,998m in the June quarter 2002, an increase of 39% representing average growth of 0.8% per quarter.

Since 1992, the retail turnover trend series in volume terms has either declined or recorded minimal quarterly growth in two periods. The first occurred from September 1992 to September 1993 with growth averaging zero per quarter, and the second occurred from March to December 1996 with growth averaging -0.1% per quarter. Two periods of sustained growth occurred prior to the year 2000. The first was from March 1993 to December 1995 when growth averaged 1.0% per quarter, and the second was from March 1997 to December 1999 when growth averaged 1.2% per quarter.

The series also rose by 2.6% in the June quarter 2000, reflecting the unusual increase in the volume of goods sold in some industries prior to the introduction of The New Tax System (TNTS) on 1 July 2000.

While the price of most goods rose from 1 July 2000, the volume of goods sold across most industries and states dropped as the apparent pull forward in spending in June unwound and the impact of the GST flowed through the economy. This led to a decrease of 3.3% in September quarter 2000. This was followed by another sustained period of growth from December 2000 to June 2002 at an average of 1.3% per quarter.

Graph - 21.4 quarterly change in retail turnover, chain volume measures(a): seasonally adjusted



As shown in table 21.5, the annual original chain volume measure of Australian total retail turnover increased from $116,549m in 1990-91 to $163,374m in 2001-02, an increase of 40% representing an average annual rise of 3.1%.

During this period, the strongest annual growth occurred in 1994-95 (6%). The three periods of weakest growth occurred in 2000-01 (0.2%), closely followed by 1992-93 (0.3%) and 1996-97 (0.4%). Growth of 5.3% was achieved in both 1999-2000 and the latest year, 2001-02. Growth in 2000-01 was considerably lower, but was affected by the unusual increase in the volume of goods sold prior to the introduction of TNTS on 1 July 2000 and the subsequent decline in the volume of goods sold.

The industry group representing the largest component of retail turnover in 2001-02 was food retailing with 39%. The next largest industry was hospitality and services with a 18% share of total turnover in 2001-02, followed by household good retailing with a 13% share of total turnover.

A comparison of the share of retail turnover held by the industry groups in 1990-91 and 2001-02 shows that two industry groups increased their shares, namely household good retailing by 4.6 percentage points and other retailing by 3.3 percentage points. In contrast, five industry groups decreased their shares, namely food retailing (-3.9 percentage points), hospitality and services (-2.6 percentage points), recreational goods (-1.3 percentage points), department stores (-1.0 percentage point) and clothing and soft good retailing (-0.5 percentage points).


21.5 RETAIL TURNOVER, Chain volume measures(a) - By industry group: Original

Food
retailing
Department
stores
Clothing and soft
good retailing
Household good
retailing
Recreational good
retailing
Other
retailing
Hospitality and
services
Total(b)
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

1990-91
49,788
10,979
8,418
9,244
6,750
9,530
23,417
116,549
1991-92
51,785
11,371
8,756
9,575
6,822
10,031
22,454
119,360
1992-93
52,034
11,540
8,453
10,193
6,575
10,182
21,803
119,673
1993-94
52,584
11,625
8,475
10,979
6,828
11,112
22,716
123,461
1994-95
55,380
11,990
8,703
11,803
7,229
11,761
24,573
130,537
1995-96
57,996
12,315
8,882
12,591
7,623
12,307
25,002
135,885
1996-97
58,406
12,241
8,758
13,795
7,251
12,742
23,603
136,411
1997-98
60,453
12,593
8,989
14,314
7,391
13,835
23,965
141,220
1998-99
61,482
12,994
10,068
14,717
7,492
14,639
26,007
147,081
1999-2000
62,218
13,768
10,781
17,344
7,612
15,863
27,363
154,884
2000-01
62,004
13,140
10,213
17,972
7,310
17,020
27,563
155,222
2001-02
63,340
13,714
11,005
20,554
7,393
18,785
28,584
163,374

(a) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2000-01.
(b) Chain volume measures are not additive for most periods; the component measures do not sum to a total in the same way as the corresponding current price components do.

Source: ABS data available on request, Retail Business Survey, aggregated quarterly data.


Wholesale trade

The wholesale trade industry covers those businesses involved in the sale of new or used goods to businesses or to institutional (including government) users.

Along with the retail trade industry, the wholesale trade industry is a significant component of the Australian economy and provides a key indicator of economic activity.

As shown in graph 21.6, the quarterly trend chain volume measures of Australian total wholesale sales by private businesses reflected a downturn in the economy, with wholesale sales declining by 0.6% in the December quarter 1992 and 0.3% in the March quarter 1993. In 1994 all quarters recorded growth in wholesale sales, with the largest increase (5.4%) in the June quarter 1994. In 1996 growth in wholesale sales was lower and averaged 0.5% per quarter, but growth was stronger in both 1997 and 1998, with average quarterly growth of 2.3%. A break in the series occurred between the June and September quarters 1999 as a result of the inclusion of three significant privatised marketing authorities. After declining in the September and December 2000 quarters, the following five quarters from March 2001 to March 2002 recorded growth in wholesale sales averaging 1.5% per quarter.

The series rose from $31,276m in the March quarter 1992 to $50,050m in the June quarter 1999, an overall increase of 60% representing average growth of 1.6% per quarter. Following a series break between the June and September quarters 1999, wholesale sales by private business rose from $52,462m in the September quarter 1999 to $58,488m in the March quarter 2002, an overall increase of 12% representing average growth of 1.1% per quarter.

Graph - 21.6 quarterly change in wholesale sales, chain volume measures(a): trend



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