Retail sales rose 1.4 per cent in March

Media Release

Australian retail turnover rose 1.4 per cent in March 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Turnover rose 2.3 per cent when compared to March 2020. 

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: "Victoria and Western Australia led the rises, after COVID-19 lockdowns impacted retail sales in February 2021.

Queensland saw a small fall, with Greater Brisbane impacted by lockdown restrictions from 29 March." 

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (6 per cent) led the rises by industry, driven by increases in Victoria and Western Australia. Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, and department stores also saw rises led by these two states. Nationally, food retailing saw a fall of 1 per cent. 

The March quarter is relatively unchanged in current price, seasonally adjusted terms. This follows a rise in the December quarter of 2.5 per cent. Quarterly volume estimates will be included in the final Retail Trade release on 10 May, 2021. 

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 via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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  • The June 2021 release of the Preliminary Retail Trade on 21 July 2021, will be the last release of the Preliminary number. 
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