8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, Dec 2017  
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6 February 2018

MEDIA RELEASE
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Retail turnover falls 0.5 per cent in December


Australian retail turnover fell 0.5 per cent in December 2017, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

This follows a 1.3 per cent rise in November 2017.

"There were falls for household goods retailing (-2.6 per cent) and other retailing (-1.8 per cent) following strong rises in the November month," said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. "Department stores (-0.6 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaways (-0.1 per cent), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.1 per cent) also fell. Food retailing rose (0.7 per cent) in December 2017."

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in Victoria (-0.8 per cent), New South Wales (-0.4 per cent), Western Australia (-0.8 per cent), Tasmania (-1.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (-1.5 per cent), South Australia (-0.3 per cent), and the Northern Territory (-0.7 per cent). Queensland was relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent) in seasonally adjusted terms.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in December 2017 following a rise (0.2 per cent) in November 2017. Compared to December 2016 the trend estimate rose 2.0 per cent.

Online retail turnover contributed 4.8 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in the December month 2017. In December 2016 online retail turnover contributed 3.8 per cent to total retail.

In seasonally adjusted volume terms, turnover rose 0.9 per cent in the December quarter 2017, following a rise of 0.1 per cent in the September quarter 2017. The rise in volumes was led by household goods (3.4 per cent), which benefitted from strong promotions and the release of the iPhone X in the November month.

More detailed industry analysis and further information on the statistical methodology is available in Retail Trade, Australia (cat no. 8501.0).

Media note:

    • For a detailed definition of each industry group and subgroup in terms of its ANZSIC 2006 classes, please refer to paragraph 6 of the Explanatory Notes.
    • Estimates of online retail turnover are only available in original terms and are not available in seasonally adjusted or trend terms.
    • Along with the monthly current price estimates that reflect both price and volume changes, the March, June, September and December publications also present quarterly estimates that reflect volume and price changes separately.
    • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
    • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications and Partnerships Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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