Retail sales rise again, up 0.9% in May to record level

Media Release

Australian retail turnover rose 0.9 per cent in May 2022, reaching another record level, according to the Retail Trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The rise in May was the fifth consecutive monthly rise in retail turnover following rises of 0.9 per cent in April 2022, 1.6 per cent in March 2022, 1.8 per cent in February 2022 and 1.6 per cent in January 2022.

Ben Dorber, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics said, “There was growth across five of the six retail industries in May as spending remained resilient.”

“Higher prices added to the growth in retail turnover in May. This was most evident in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services and food retailing.”

Department stores had the largest rise, up 5.1 percent, followed by cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services (1.8 per cent), other retailing (1.5 per cent), food retailing (0.6 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.4 per cent).

Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing was the only industry to record a fall, down 1.4 per cent, following three consecutive monthly rises.

Of the states and territories, New South Wales had the largest rise in retail turnover, up 1.6 per cent, followed by Victoria, up 1.3 per cent.

Turnover also rose in South Australia (1.9 per cent), Western Australia (0.2 per cent), Tasmania (1.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.6 per cent).

The only states or territories to record falls were Queensland, down 0.4 per cent, and the Australian Capital Territory, down 0.3 per cent. The fall in Queensland follows increased turnover from the flood recovery in March and a boost from tourism in April.

Additional information on the May reference period will be released on 5 July 2022. Please see survey impacts and changes for further information.

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

Media notes

  • When referring to rises and falls in terms of size, these numbers reflect the financial gain or loss in dollar terms, not necessarily the highest percentage rise or fall.
  • All statistical figures in this release are in seasonally adjusted terms.
  • 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