Retail turnover down 1.1% in February

Media Release

Australian retail turnover fell 1.1 per cent in February 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary retail trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Turnover rose 8.7 per cent when compared to February 2020. 

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: "Restrictions due to COVID-19 in Victoria, and parts of Western Australia, drove the February fall. Victoria fell 4 per cent, and Western Australia fell 6 per cent, as trade was restricted for five days in each state.

The falls were partially offset by rises in New South Wales and Queensland. Both these states had seen trade impacted by COVID-19 in January, and in February saw rises in industries such as clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores."

Food retailing led the falls by industry, falling in every state and territory. While through-the-year sales remain 6.5 per cent above the levels of February 2020, they have eased from the levels seen in the middle of 2020. 

Results were mixed across the other industries. 

Further information is available in Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 8501.0.55.008) and full results will be available in Retail Trade, Australia (8501.0), released 1 April 2021.

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.

Media notes

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