Retail turnover up 0.5 per cent in July

Media Release

Australian retail turnover rose 0.5 per cent in July 2023 (seasonally adjusted), according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics, said: "The rise in July is a partial reversal of last month’s sharp decline in turnover. This was after weaker-than-usual end of financial year sales.”

The rise in July follows a 0.8 per cent fall in June 2023 and a 0.8 per cent rise in May 2023.

“While there was a rise in July, underlying growth in retail turnover remained subdued. In trend terms, retail turnover was unchanged in July and up only 1.9 per cent compared to July 2022, despite considerable price growth over the year,” Mr Dorber said.

Most non-food industries rose in July, following larger falls in June. Department stores (+3.6 per cent) recorded the largest rise, followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (+2.0 per cent), and other retailing (+0.3 per cent). Household goods retailing recorded a second consecutive fall (-0.2 per cent), the eighth monthly fall in turnover in the past 12 months.

Food-related spending was mixed, with a rise in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (+1.3 per cent) while food retailing remained unchanged.

“Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services turnover grew considerably, despite an overall slowing down in food-related spending in recent months,” Mr Dorber said.

“The rise in July was boosted by additional spending at catering and takeaway food outlets linked to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and school holidays.”

Retail turnover was mixed across the states and territories, with New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory rising in July after large falls in June. 

More information on the July reference period will be released on 1 September 2023. This will contain 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

  • Seasonal adjustment is the process of estimating and removing seasonal effects to allow comparison of data for adjacent months. See methodology for more details. 
  • The ABS has reinstated Retail Trade Trend estimates. For further information, please refer to reinstating trend series in the survey impacts and changes.
  • The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in retail activity. It is recommended that trend estimates be used alongside the seasonally adjusted headline measure to analyse and understand underlying activity in retail spending over the longer term. See methodology for more details on trend estimates.
  • 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