Retail sales increase in April
Retail turnover grew 1.1% in April 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to preliminary ABS retail figures, with $ 31 billion spent in-store and online. Revenue jumped 25.1% with the sharp increase attributed to low levels of retail turnover in April 2020.
Director of Quarterly Economic Surveys Ben James said all industries except department stores had increased, with similar increases for cafes, restaurants and take-out food services, the retailing of household goods and other retail businesses.
“New South Wales and Victoria led the state’s increases, with sales continuing to return to Sydney and Melbourne. A lockdown in Western Australia in April resulted in a 1.5% drop in that state, ”he said.
National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said this was promising news for an industry heavily dependent on JobKeeper.
“The end of JobKeeper has worried many retailers, but the first signs are that the Australian economy continues to steal a strong recovery,” Lamb said. It’s only a month away and some uncertainty remains, but these April results indicate consumers have continued to spend. Fall has traditionally been a quiet time for retail, so the continued growth in sales bodes well for the industry. “
Preliminary figures for April followed the ABS Labor Force report which found unemployment fell slightly for the month.
“The Australian economy is currently having strong momentum after the Covid recession. To further fuel the recovery, we urge buyers to continue supporting local retailers, governments to closely monitor economic indicators and encourage those eligible to get vaccinated, ”Lamb said.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said while comparisons to the 2020 lockdown are complex, retail remains healthy overall and Australia’s economy continues to rebound from the worst of the pandemic. However, he said the figure was inflated due to lockdowns and restrictions suffered in April 2020, when the economy largely came to a halt.
“While the ABS results are good, they don’t paint a full picture of what the retail industry is going through. Our recovery is uneven and some companies are better off than others, ”he said.
Citing figures from ARA’s strategic partner Mastercard, Zahra said year-over-year growth for department stores was up 42.2% and housewares up 6.9%.
“Retail sales are tracking well overall, but we know not everyone enjoys the same dynamic spending levels. Our economic recovery will remain uneven as long as international borders remain closed, ”Zahra said.