Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary

This release has ceased

Contains preliminary monthly aggregate estimates of retail turnover in Australia

Reference period
June 2021

Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted estimate fell 1.8% (-$575.1m) in June 2021. 
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, Australian turnover rose 2.9% in June 2021 compared with June 2020. 
Jun-2021 ($m)May-2021 to Jun-2021 (% change)Jun-2020 to Jun-2021 (% change)
Seasonally Adjusted30,583.2-1.82.9

This release provides a preliminary estimate for Australian retail turnover for June 2021. This estimate is compiled from the monthly Retail Business Survey and is based on preliminary data provided by businesses that make-up approximately 80% of total retail turnover and is therefore subject to revision. The final monthly estimate will be published in Retail Trade, Australia (cat. no. 8501.0) on 4 August 2021.

This is the final release of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 8501.0.55.008).

Following the discontinuation of this publication, changes are being made to the release schedule of Retail Trade, Australia, which will occur from the July reference period onwards. A summary of these changes are available here.

Total retail turnover

  • The fall of 1.8% in June 2021 follows a rise of 0.4% in May 2021.

  • By state, Victoria (-3.5%) and New South Wales (-2.0%) led the falls, with both under stay-at-home orders for part of the month. Victoria's fall this month is larger than the fall seen in May when the state commenced Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions. 

  • Food retailing (1.5%)  was the only industry to rise in June, with those states entering lockdown during the month driving the increase. All other industries fell, as COVID-19 restrictions curtailed foot traffic and household movements, while retailers moved back to online distribution channels.

  • Despite the impact of restrictions on June 2021, through-the-year sales remain positive, up 2.9% compared to June 2020. 

  • In seasonally adjusted current price terms, the preliminary estimate shows the June quarter rose by 1.3% compared to the March quarter 2021. This follows a fall of 0.1% in the March quarter 2021. Quarterly volume estimates will be included in the final release on 4 August 2021.

Data notes

Caution should be exercised when interpreting preliminary estimates as they may be significantly different to the final published estimates. This is due to several factors:

  • Estimates are based on preliminary data provided by businesses that make-up approximately 80% of total retail turnover.
  • Where respondents have not yet provided their data, it is estimated (or 'imputed') based on previous responses or averages from similar responding units. The level of imputation in preliminary estimates is significantly higher than for final estimates.
  • The quality of imputation for preliminary releases may also be poorer than for final estimates, due to the higher level of non-response. Furthermore, historical imputes which are based on data from previous months, may not accurately reflect changes in the economy due to recent events.
  • Changes to imputation methods have been made from the March 2020 monthly release to ensure non-respondents are more accurately reflected by the responding units in the current COVID-19 environment.
  • Until February 2020 Retail Trade used the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, meaning that seasonal factors were re-estimated each time a new data point becomes available. If not appropriately accounted for, unusual real-world events, such as COVID-19, can distort estimates calculated using this method. From March 2020, seasonal factors are calculated using data up to and including February 2020, then projected from March 2020 onwards. This approach, known as the forward factor method, ensures that the seasonal factors are not distorted by COVID-19 impacts.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.55.008.

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