May key figures
|May 2020||April 2020 to May 2020|
|Turnover at current prices|
["","Monthly","Through the year"]
May key points
- Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on retail trade the trend series has been suspended from February 2020.
- The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 16.9% in May 2020. This follows a fall of 17.7% in April, and a rise of 8.5% in March 2020.
- The following industries rose in seasonally adjusted terms in May 2020: Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (129.2%), Food retailing (7.2%), Household goods retailing (16.6%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (30.3%), Department stores (44.4%), and Other retailing (9.4%).
- The following states and territories rose in seasonally adjusted terms in May 2020: New South Wales (16.5%), Victoria (17.2%), Queensland (16.6%), Western Australia (19.7%), South Australia (16.1%), Tasmania (17.3%), the Australian Capital Territory (12.2%), and the Northern Territory (8.1%).
Changes in this issue
There are no revisions to the original estimates.
This issue includes updated online retail turnover estimates for the May 2020 reference month. The estimates are provided and explained in the appendix section of this publication.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in May
The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. From 1 February, the Australian Government placed travel restrictions on those travelling to Australia from mainland China and restrictions on inbound tourism have remained in place. In March, regulations to encourage social distancing saw further impacts on the ability of businesses to trade as normal. This included restrictions on dining-in at restaurants and restrictions on the number of people that could be in a shop at a particular time. Restrictions were eased gradually in May 2020, although a number of restrictions remain.
Suspension of trend series
The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in retail activity. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in retail spending that will occur during this time, as certain businesses are restricted from trading for example. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying retail activity.
It may be some time before the underlying trend in retail activity can be accurately estimated. The retail trend series was therefore suspended as at February 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in retail
Time series data
- Data available from the Data downloads section of this issue on the ABS website include longer time series of tables in this publication:
- Monthly retail turnover by state and 15 industry subgroups in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
- Monthly retail turnover completely enumerated and sample sectors, by six industry groups and also by state in original terms
- Monthly retail turnover completely enumerated sector, total level in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
- Quarterly retail chain volume measures by six industry groups and also by state in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
- Quarterly retail turnover per capita in trend, seasonally adjusted and original terms
- Quarterly sales to households by selected service industries in original terms
- Quarterly measures of total retail turnover per capita.