December 2017 retail sales data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that Australians splurged a record $47.5 billion during the 2017 Christmas period.
The figures closely align with the pre-Christmas forecasts made by peak retail industry body the National Retail Association (NRA), who predicted $48 billion in sales over Christmas.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the figures reveal that retail experienced another strong Christmas period.
“For the entire Christmas trade period – which covers half of November and all of December – the ABS figures show there was a record retail spend of $47.5 billion,” Ms Lamb said.
“The final Christmas figures for 2017 are almost identical to those that the NRA released last November, when we forecast sales of approximately $48 billion.
“It is clear that Australian retail experienced another strong sales period in Christmas 2017 and this bodes well for retail as we enter the second month of 2018.”
The December 2017 ABS retail figures showed that sales grew by 0.5 per cent in trend terms and rose be 2.0 per cent for the December 2017 quarter compared with 2016.
In trend terms there were rises in Food retailing (0.3%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway (0.4%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (0.5%).
All states and territories, other than the Northern Territory, recorded a rise in trend terms for December 2017 with the largest increases in South Australia (0.6%) and Victoria (0.5%).