Retail sales up 0.2 per cent in February

Media Release

Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in February 2023, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This follows a 1.8 per cent rise in January 2023.

Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics, said retail sales rose modestly in February and appear to have levelled out after a period of increased volatility over November, December and January.

“On average, retail spending has been flat through the end of 2022 and to begin the new year.”

“Spending in food related industries continued to grow steadily in February, with cafes restaurants and takeaway food services up 0.5 per cent, while food retailing rose 0.2 per cent.”

“Non-food industry results were mixed as consumers continue to pull back on discretionary spending in response to high cost of living pressures,” Mr Dorber said.

Of the non-food industries, department stores rose 1.0 per cent in February, followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (+0.6 per cent). Other retailing was the only industry to record a fall this month, down 0.4 per cent, while household goods retailing remained relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent).

Retail turnover rose modestly across most of the states and territories, with rises at 1.0 per cent or less. Queensland recorded the only fall in turnover, down 0.4 per cent.

Additional information on the February reference period will be released on 3 April 2023 containing more detailed results, including state by industry, state by industry sub-group and online sales timeseries.

The ABS would like to thank businesses for their continued support in responding to our surveys.

Media notes

  • All statistical figures in this media release are in seasonally adjusted terms.
  • Seasonal adjustment is the process of estimating and removing seasonal effects to allow comparison of data for adjacent months. See methodology for more details.
  • Revisions to seasonally adjusted estimates are due to the concurrent methodology for deriving seasonal factors. For further information, please read survey impacts and changes.
  • 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 via (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