…for everyone except CE category.

Retail sales delivered stronger annual growth in December 2015 than in the year to December 2014, according to analysis from the Retail Council following Friday’s release of December 2015 retail trade figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The results show retail turnover rose 4.2% compared to December 2014.

However, Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee (pictured) said that the most surprising result was in electronic goods retailing, which was down 1.7%.

Anna McPhee

“We are surprised by this result as anecdotal feedback suggests this category performed strongly across the Christmas trading period and was noted as a popular Christmas gift according to our survey of Christmas shoppers,” she said.

Generally, consumer activity throughout December was broadly in line with the Retail Council’s Christmas and summer clearance sale forecasts to deliver stronger growth than the same period in 2014, which is a good sign for the economy.

“Many categories delivered a solid performance in the year to December 2015 and are above long-term average annual growth, despite patchy month-on-month results across some retail categories in December,”  McPhee said.

“Increased retail activity across the clothing, footwear and personal accessories, department stores and food categories in December offset falls in other areas,” she added.

Spending across most states and territories achieved solid growth throughout the year to December 2015 with Victoria the strongest performer (up 5.8% compared to December 2014).

“Despite retail sales continuing to grow year-on-year, monthly growth remains patchy making it difficult for the sector to achieve the sustainable momentum that is needed to reach long-term average growth levels. This further underlines the importance of reforms in tax, competition and workplace relations policy to boost the sector and drive improved performance and the sector’s contribution to the economy,” McPhee concluded.

Turnover by industry (December) m/m% change

Clothing, footwear, personal accessories 1.1%
Food 0.8%
Department stores 0.1%
Cafes, restaurants, takeaway food services -0.5%
Other retailing -0.9%
Household goods -1.0%

State performance (December) m/m% change

ACT 2.4%
NT 0.3%
SA 0.2%
QLD 0.2%
NSW 0.1%
VIC -0.1%
TAS -0.6%
WA -0.6%