Latest release

Retail Trade, Australia

Monthly and quarterly estimates of turnover and volumes for retail businesses, including store and online sales.

Reference period
April 2022
Released
27/05/2022
  • Next Release 2/06/2022
    Retail Trade, Australia, April 2022
  • Next Release 29/06/2022
    Retail Trade, Australia, May 2022
  • Next Release 5/07/2022
    Retail Trade, Australia, May 2022
  • View all releases

Key statistics

The April 2022 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Rose 0.9% month-on-month.
  • Rose 9.6% compared with April 2021.

An additional information release on 2 June 2022 will see the inclusion of more detailed results for the April 2022 reference period. Additional timeseries spreadsheets will be published, including; state by industry results, state by industry sub-group results, March quarter 2022 turnover volumes, and online sales.

To understand more about changes in this issue, suspension of trend estimates, and COVID-19 in April 2022, please read the survey impacts and changes.

Turnover at current prices
Apr-2022 ($m)Mar-2022 to Apr-2022 (% change)Apr-2021 to Apr-2022 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally adjusted33,923.10.99.6

na not available

Total retail turnover

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 1.9% ($243.1m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing fell 2.7% (-$164.9m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing rose 3.1% ($88.6m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Department stores

Department stores fell 2.5% (-$45.7m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Other retailing

Other retailing rose 0.5% ($27.3m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 3.3% ($148.5m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Data downloads

Tables 1 to 4 have been released on 27 May 2022. Tables 5 through to 23 will be released on 2 June 2022.

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data Explorer datasets

The data available in Data Explorer is similar to ABS.Stat but with a new interface and added functionality.
For more information about Data Explorer and to see what's changed, see the Data Explorer user guide.

Caution: Data in Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the reference period when using Data Explorer.

Retail Trade, Key Statistics - Monthly retail trade estimates for Australian businesses classified by industry group, or by state and territory.

Retail Trade  - Monthly and quarterly retail trade turnover estimates for Australian businesses classified by industry group, sub group, and by state and territory.

Survey impacts and changes

The revised release schedule for Retail Trade, Australia

The ABS ceased the publication of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (8501.0.55.008) following the June 2021 reference period.  Retail Trade, Australia (8501.0) has moved to the following release schedule to better accommodate data users’ needs.

Key statistics from Retail Trade, Australia are now released 20 working days following the end of the reference period. The full suite of statistics to be made available in an “Additional Information” release four business days later. 

This replaces the former release schedule where all time series spreadsheets were released approximately 24 working days following the end of the reference period.

Timing and availability of time series spreadsheets from July 2021 reference period onwards:

 
ReleaseTimingTablesContent
Main Release (i.e. key statistics)20 working days following the end of the reference period1 - 4 Monthly National Turnover
   Monthly Industry Turnover
   Monthly State Turnover
Additional Tables4 working days following the main release5 - 23Monthly State by Industry Turnover
   Monthly Sub-Group Turnover
   Monthly State by Sub-Group Turnover
   Quarterly Volumes and other quarterly statistics
   Online Sales

 

There are no changes to the availability of data for this publication.  Time series spreadsheet numbering and names, as well as Series IDs remain the same as previously published.

Both of the monthly releases will be based on the same source data. No additional data collection activity will occur between these times.

The ABS will continue to quality assure data between both releases. Revisions to the key statistics anticipated to be rare.

Dates for future releases are available under ‘Future releases’ from the top of this page. There are two advertised dates for each reference period. The earliest date refers to the release of Tables 1 through to 4. The later date indicates when the additional tables (5 through to 23) will be made available.

Changes in this issue

There are no revisions to original estimates.
 

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in retail activity. During the Coronavirus pandemic, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in retail spending that will occur. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for irregular events, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying retail activity.

The retail trend series was therefore suspended from February 2020. It is now published only to June 2019. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in retail.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in April

The World Health Organisation identified COVID-19 as an international health emergency on 30 January 2020.

In March 2020, nationwide regulations were introduced to encourage physical distancing which impacted the ability of businesses to trade as normal. Movement across state borders were also restricted.

Following May 2020, regulations have been implemented on a local basis in response to increased case numbers.

In March 2021, the Greater Brisbane region in Queensland saw restrictions reintroduced on 29 March. The restrictions were extended until the end of the month and ended on 1 April.

In April 2021, Perth and some regional areas of Western Australia had restrictions in place from 24 April through to 26 April.

In May 2021, Victoria was under lockdown restrictions from 28 May. These remained in place until June.

In June 2021, the Delta variant began to emerge which saw various states and territories introduce lockdown measures which were initially intended to be a temporary measure to contain the outbreak.

In July 2021, the Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong regions in New South Wales remained under stay-at-home orders for the entire month, while Victoria re-introduced lockdowns mid-month which were in place until 27 July. Other states and territories were able to avoid extended lockdowns with Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory only experiencing snap lockdowns with varying duration and timing which ended within the month.

In August 2021, the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong regions in New South Wales remained under stay-at-home orders with various regional cities and townships placed into lockdowns. Victoria reintroduced lockdown measures in Melbourne on 5 August which remained in effect for the remainder of the month, with Regional Victoria also in lockdown at different stages. The Australian Capital Territory introduced lockdown measures on 12 August which extended to the of the month. Queensland and the Northern Territory both experienced snap lockdowns which ended within the month.

In September 2021, the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong regions in New South Wales remained under stay-at-home orders for the entire month with several regional areas in and out of lockdowns as the month progressed. Victoria’s Melbourne metropolitan region remained under stay-at-home orders for the entire month with regional areas in and out of lockdowns as the month progressed. The Australian Capital Territory stay-at-home orders were in place for the entire month.

In October 2021, lockdown measures began to ease with stay-at-home orders ending in New South Wales on 11 October, the Australian Capital Territory on 14 October and Victoria on 21 October. Each state and territory had various restrictions attached to the end of stay-at-home orders which included a range of mask mandates, density limits and conditions based on vaccination status. Tasmania experienced a snap 3-day lockdown in the southern part of the state, including Hobart.

In November 2021 and December 2021 each state and territory experienced a wide range of restriction measures wither introduced or eased depending on the circumstances of each state or territory. The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to introduce lockdown measures

For a detailed breakdown of restrictions throughout 2021, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in December in Survey impacts and changes section of the December 2021 release.

For a detailed breakdown of restrictions in January 2022, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in January in Survey impacts and changes section of the January 2022 release.

For a detailed breakdown of restrictions in February 2022, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in February in Survey impacts and changes section of the February 2022 release.

For a detailed breakdown of restrictions in March 2022, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in March in Survey impacts and changes section of the February 2022 release.

In April 2022, changes to existing COVID-19 safety measures across the states and territories included:

  • New South Wales - from 6pm, April 22, close contacts isolation requirements were eased with people no longer required to isolate for seven days but still required to undertake daily rapid antigen testing with limitations on access to high-risk settings. 

  • Victoria - from 11:59pm, April 22, close contacts isolation requirements were eased with people no longer required to isolate for seven days but still required to undertake five daily rapid antigen tests over the seven day period with limitations on access to high-risk settings. 

  • Queensland - from 1:00pm, April 14, requirements to check in and be fully vaccinated at a range of venues and events will no longer apply with density limits lifted for venues including pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants; theme parks, casinos and cinemas; weddings; showgrounds; and galleries, libraries, museums and stadiums regardless of vaccination status. From 6pm April 28, close contacts who have no symptoms do not need to quarantine any longer, instead needing to wear a mask indoors and outdoors where they cannot socially distance for seven days with testing every 2 days before entering the community and notify an employer when returning to work. 

  • South Australia - from 12:01am, April 30, close contacts are no longer required to isolate for seven days.

  • Western Australia - from 12:01am, March 31, the following changes were made to Level 2 public health measure: Home gatherings now limited to 30 people indoors; private outdoor gatherings limited to 200 people with a 2sqm rule in place; 2sqm square metre still applies for hospitality venues, fitness venues, nightclubs entertainment venues, hairdressers, tattoo parlours and beauty services, as well as Perth’s Crown Casino complex; Standing service allowed to resume; 2sqm rule lifted for public venues such as swimming pools, libraries, university lecture halls and classrooms; Capacity limit has been increased from 150 to 500 for hospitality venues and nightclubs; 75 per cent capacity limit (up from 50 per cent) for entertainment venues with forward facing seating, such as theatres and cinemas, and for major stadiums, including Optus Stadium, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium (main area) and HBF Park, with no mask wearing at stadiums; People are still required to show proof of vaccination when entering restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs, pubs and nightclubs; indoor entertainment venues including cinemas, theatres, concert halls and live music venues; museums and galleries; Crown Perth Complex; major stadiums; large outdoor events; gyms and fitness studios; Perth Zoo and amusement parks; hospitals and residential aged care and disability care facilities.  From 12:01am, Friday 29 April, the following additional changes to restrictions were made: Masks no longer mandatory except for high risk settings such as on public transport, in taxis and rideshare vehicles and other passenger transport airports, hospitals, residential aged care and disability service facilities, and correctional facilities; Close contacts with no symptoms are not required to isolate for 7 days, but must undertake a daily Rapid Antigen Test and obtain a negative result, wear a mask when leaving the house, avoid high-risk settings unless they work at these locations; If a close contact tests positive, they must isolate for a further 7 days as per arrangements for positive COVID-19 cases; the 2sqm rule removed for venues and businesses; capacity limits removed for all entertainment venues, stadiums and events; proof of COVID-19 vaccinations no longer required to enter venues and businesses, but still required to visit hospitals and residential aged care facilities, while mandatory workplace vaccination requirements will remain in place; G2G Pass registration no longer required and triple dose vaccination no longer required for interstate arrivals; double dose vaccination requirement for international arrivals will continue as per Australian Government requirements; Unvaccinated Australian international arrivals to continue to quarantine for 7 days; travel to remote Aboriginal communities remains restricted.

Differences between Retail Trade and New Experimental Economic Indicators

Monthly Business Turnover Indicator

The ABS first released the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator on Friday 15 October 2021. The first in a series of new monthly economic indicators which includes an indicator for Retail Trade.

This experimental indicator is derived from Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Business Activity Statements (BAS) turnover data from monthly BAS remitters. This differs from Retail Trade, Australia in terms of scope and coverage. Monthly BAS reporting for the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator covers businesses with GST annual turnover of $20 million or more and a proportion of smaller businesses that report monthly on a voluntary basis. The turnover estimates in Retail Trade, Australia are compiled from the monthly Retail Business Survey. About 700 'large' businesses are included in the survey every month, while a sample of about 2,700 'smaller' businesses is selected. The 'large' business' contribution of approximately 69% of the total estimate ensures a highly reliable Australian total turnover estimate.

Retail Trade for the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator is aligned strictly to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006. This includes Fuel and motor vehicle retailing but excludes Cafes, restaurants and takeaways. Retail Trade, Australia does include Cafes, restaurants and takeaways, but does not include Fuel and motor vehicle retailing.

For further information see Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, Methodology.

Monthly Household Spending Indicator

The ABS first released the Monthly Household Spending Indicator on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

The experimental Monthly Household Spending Indicator is derived using aggregated, de-identified banks transactions data from some of Australia’s banking and financial institutions.

The ABS transforms the banks transactions data in order to derive the Monthly Household Spending Indicator. As this data is not designed for statistical purposes, its scope varies from Australian National Accounts concept of household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) and the Retail Trade turnover estimates for retail businesses.

The primary difference between the Retail Trade Survey and the household spending indicator is scope. The Retail Trade Survey focuses on measuring turnover, from sole traders and businesses across the Retail industry that predominantly sell to households. The Household spending indicator is recorded at the point of transaction on goods and services across all relevant industries, not just retail, to track a broader range of consumer spending.

For more information on how the Retail Trade Survey and new experimental monthly household spending indicator differ please see Comparison with Retail Trade and Monthly Household Spending Indicator, Methodology.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.

Inquiries

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