The National Retail Association has today said the industry is looking forward to the second half of 2016, after ABS data released today showed retail sales had failed to reach national economic projections of 0.3 per cent, coming in at a weak 0.2 per cent increase, seasonally adjusted.
NRA Industry Research and Data Analyst Cameron Meiklejohn said today’s trend estimates came on the back of a 0.2 per cent increase for March, seasonally adjusted.
“In trend terms, Australian turnover rose 3.4 per cent in April compared with the same month last year,” Mr Meiklejohn said.
Department stores fell in trend terms at -0.1 per cent, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing was up 0.8 per cent, with household goods retailing up 0.2 per cent.
“While the results have fallen short of economic predictions, there is some good news. The ABS data suggests consumers are heading out to eat, with a 0.3 per cent increase in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.
“We have also seen hardware and garden sales rise which may be on the back of strong construction results in the housing sector,” he said.
The Australian Capital Territory was the strongest performer in trend terms, with a 0.5 per cent rise; Tasmania following with 0.4 per cent; New South Wales and South Australia with 0.3 per cent; Victoria with a 0.2 per cent; and Queensland and the Northern Territory relatively unchanged in trend terms in April at 0.0 per cent.
“Growth in New South Wales and Victoria are 5 per cent and 4.3per cent respectively, seasonally adjusted, compared with the national figure of 3.6%. Further, Queensland is at just 1.2% growth seasonally adjusted, compared with the same time last year,” he said.
Cameron Meiklejohn is available for comment. Please phone the NRA’s media unit on (07) 3240 0163 or 0467 792 013.
The NRA is Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and broader service sector for almost 100 years.