Preliminary retail turnover down 4.2% in August

Media Release

Australian retail turnover fell 4.2 per cent in August 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Turnover rose 6.9 per cent when compared to August 2019. 

"The result was driven by a fall of 12.6 per cent in Victoria" said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. "Victoria saw large falls across all industries except food retailing, as Stage 3 and 4 restrictions saw many businesses unable to trade from their physical stores in August.

Although the falls were largest in Victoria, there were also falls in most other states. Excluding Victoria, retail trade across the rest of Australia fell 1.5% from July 2020 to August 2020." 

By industry, household goods led the falls but continued to trade well above the levels of August 2019.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, department stores, and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, had large falls. Food retailing recorded a small fall. 

Further information is available in Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 8501.0.55.008).

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.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team on 1300 175 070 (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
Back to top of the page