Final retail sales rose 0.4% in May

Media Release

Australian retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in May 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to final retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This updates the May preliminary result of a 0.1 per cent rise. The change follows additional time for data collection, which has improved the estimates.

By industry, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing saw the largest difference between the preliminary (-1.5 per cent) and final release (0.0 per cent).

By state, Victoria saw a change from -1.5 per cent to -0.9 per cent. New South Wales recorded a flat result (0.0 per cent) at the time of the preliminary release, changing to a 0.5 per cent rise for this final release.

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “The main themes from the Retail Trade Preliminary release remain relevant for the Final release. Retail turnover in May was impacted by the Victorian lockdown from May 28 onwards, as well as those states recovering from restrictions in April.”

Food retailing (1.1 per cent) continued to lead the industry rises, partly offset by falls in household goods retailing (-1.1 per cent), and department stores (-0.7 per cent).

Victoria saw falls in four out of six industries, with the overall state fall softened by rises in food and other retailing.

Both Queensland and Western Australia saw rises for five out of six industries, following restrictions in April.

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

For advice on the use of preliminary data, please see the Data notes in Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary

The final release of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 8501.0.55.008) will be for the June 2021 reference month. This will be released 21 July 2021.

The ABS thanks all those who contributed data to this release. Further ABS data measuring the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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