Household goods retailing falls slightly.

Australian retail turnover in July was unchanged according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, (ABS) and follows a rise of 0.2% in June.

In seasonally adjusted terms there were falls in household goods retailing, down 1.7% and department stores, down 2.8%. “The falls in household goods retailing and department stores comes after strong rises in the June quarter,” ABS director of Quarterly Economy Wide surveys, Ben James said.

The trend estimate for total retail turnover rose 0.3% in July, following a 0.4% rise in June. Compared to July 2016, the trend estimate rose 3.5%, with online retail turnover contributing 4.3% to total retail turnover in original terms.

The news was more positive when it came to year-on-year retail growth for the year ending July 2017 with household goods retailing up 4.6% and department stores recording a 1.2% rise.

Australian Retailers Association executive director, Russell Zimmerman said the July figures were a positive sign leading into the warmer months. “Year-on-year growth remains strong for the retail industry with household goods, especially hardware, with a 5.02%, increase driving the figures,” he said. “With the end of deep discounting after the closure of Master, the continued growth in the sector as sales begin to normalise is a good sign for the retail industry as a whole.”

All states recorded year-on-year growth with Victoria then New South Wales leading the pack while the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia recorded moderate increases. The Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia showed gradual year-on-year sales growth.