ABS Update: Retail turnover falls 0.5% in December


The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures show that in December 2019, Australian retail turnover fell by 5%, seasonally adjusted. This was a fall from the 1% retail turnover rise in November 2019.

November 2019 was strong with Black Friday sales. The fall in December was affected by the bushfires and smoke haze in New South Wales, with cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services especially being negatively impacted.

The falls for different retail industries were:

  • -2.8% for department stores
  • -0.9% for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services
  • -1.5% for clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing
  • -0.3% for food retailing
  • -0.3% for household goods

Online retail turnover contributed 6.6% to total retail turnover in December 2018. This was a rise compared to the previous year, where online retail turnover contributed 5.6% to total retail turnover.

The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.3% in December 2019, keeping steady with the 0.3% rise in November 2019. This was a big drop from the 2.8% trend estimate rise a year before in December 2018.


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