Preliminary retail turnover down 1.5% in September

Media Release

Australian retail turnover fell 1.5 per cent in September 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Turnover rose 5.2 per cent when compared to September 2019. 

"Food retailing, household goods retailing, and other retailing (which includes online only retailers) recorded falls this month" said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. "These industries have recorded elevated levels of turnover during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to trade above the levels of September 2019.” 

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing also fell in September 2020. The falls were slightly offset by rises in department stores, and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, which recorded rises after significant falls in August 2020.  

All states and territories, except for the Northern Territory, fell this month. Following a large fall in August, Victoria recorded a small monthly fall in September. Victoria remains the only state or territory to be trading below the level of September 2019.

There was a 6.8 per cent increase for the September quarter in current price, seasonally adjusted terms. This follows a fall in the June quarter, when COVID-19 restrictions were in place across the country. Quarterly volume estimates will be included in the final Retail Trade release on 4 November, 2020. 

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