Retail sales improve

For month of August.

Retail turnover increased by 0.4% in August, according to the latest ABS statistics, following an 0.1% decline in July.

ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys, Ben James confirmed rises in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.8%), department stores (1.1%), food retailing (0.4%), household goods retailing (0.3%) and other retailing (0.3%). Every state and territory except the Northern Territory and Western Australia recorded rises in turnover. Online retail accounted for 6.2% of all turnover, an increase on the August 2018 figure of 5. 6%.

The National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb said that the results indicate that the personal income tax cuts and reductions in interest rates are starting to have an impact.

“The August results are a big improvement on July, with rises in turnover recorded across all industries bar one,” Lamb said.

“Several economic levers have been pulled in recent months – such as cuts to income tax and interest rates – to lift retail out of its slumber and today’s results indicate that things may be starting to slowly turnaround.

“Retail is certainly not out of the woods and consumer confidence still needs to lift, but the August figures certainly represent a positive sign,” she added.

“As we head into the Christmas period, the NRA certainly urges Aussies to spend any extra money they’ve received via tax cuts or the drop in interest rates at their local retail outlet.”

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