Retail sales volumes rose 0.8% in June quarter 2021

Media Release

Retail sales volumes rose 0.8 per cent in the June quarter 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures. This follows the 0.5 per cent fall in the March quarter 2021.

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: "Households increased their discretionary spending for much of the quarter, with cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (3.9 per cent), other retailing (2.3 per cent) and, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (3.0 per cent) all benefiting in volume terms. Quarterly volumes were also impacted by lockdowns from May onwards, having a detrimental impact on department store volumes (-3.1 per cent) in particular. Despite a 0.4 per cent fall in quarterly volume terms, food retailing benefited from lockdown-related sales in May and June.”

State and territory rises were led by New South Wales (1.7 per cent), Queensland (0.6 per cent) and Western Australia (0.8 per cent). South Australia (-0.3 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-3.0 per cent) were the only state/territory falls in volume over the quarter.

Monthly turnover fell 1.8 per cent

Australian retail turnover fell 1.8 per cent in the month of June 2021, seasonally adjusted.  This remains unchanged from the Preliminary result of a 1.8 per cent fall.

June’s fall in retail turnover follows a rise of 0.4 per cent in May 2021, and a rise of 1.1 per cent in April 2021.

June was impacted heavily by stay-at-home orders for multiple states and territories, with the largest falls seen in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-6.0 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-9.5 per cent), and department stores (-7.0 per cent). Other retailing (-1.6 per cent), and household goods retailing (-1.3 per cent) also fell.

Food retailing (1.5 per cent) was the only industry to rise as ongoing and re-introduced coronavirus restrictions required households to substitute eating out for eating at home.

States under longer periods of restrictions for the month saw a larger fall in their June turnover. The largest falls were in Victoria (-4.0 per cent), New South Wales (-2.0 per cent), and Queensland (-0.9 per cent). Other states and territories that saw stay-at-home orders for a least one day of the month included Western Australia (0.1 per cent), and the Northern Territory (-1.8 per cent).

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

From next month Retail Trade, Australia is moving to an updated release schedule. Please see the survey impacts and changes section of the June issue for Retail Trade, Australia.

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.

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