8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, Dec 2018  
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MEDIA RELEASE
05 February 2019
Embargoed: 11:30 am (Canberra time)

Retail turnover falls 0.4 per cent in December


Australian retail turnover fell 0.4 per cent in December 2018, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.

This follows a 0.5 per cent rise in November 2018.

"Household goods (-2.8 per cent) and Clothing and footwear (-2.4 per cent) led the falls after strong rises in November from Black Friday promotions," said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. "There were also falls in Department stores (-1.1 per cent) and Other retailing (-0.1 per cent)."

The falls were partially offset by rises in Food retailing (0.5 per cent) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.1 per cent).

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were falls in New South Wales (-0.6 per cent), Victoria (-0.5 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (-1.8 per cent), Queensland (-0.1 per cent), South Australia (-0.3 per cent), the Northern Territory (-0.3 per cent), and Tasmania (-0.2 per cent.). The only state to have a rise in December 2018 was Western Australia (0.1 per cent).

Online retail turnover contributed 5.6 per cent to total retail turnover in original terms in December 2018, down from 6.6 per cent in November 2018, highlighting the increasing importance of the November month for online sales. In December 2017 online retail turnover contributed 4.8 per cent to total retail.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in December 2018, following a rise of 0.2 per cent in November 2018. Compared to December 2017, the trend estimate rose 3.2 per cent.

For the December quarter 2018, there was a 0.1 per cent rise in seasonally adjusted volume terms. This follows a rise of 0.2 per cent in the September quarter 2018. The quarterly rise in volumes was led by Clothing and footwear (2.7 per cent), and Department stores (0.7 per cent). Food retailing (-0.2 per cent), Other retailing (-0.5 per cent), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5 per cent), and Household goods (-0.3 per cent) fell in seasonally adjusted volume terms.

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

Media note:

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