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In September, the Australian Retail Trade Remained Robust

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Australian Retail Trade

Australian Retail Trade

In September, #Australian retail sales surpassed another all-time high, with customers continuing to be prepared to spend despite interest rate increases and rising living expenses. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (#ABS) reports that retail commerce increased for a ninth consecutive month in September, increasing by 0.6 percent over the previous month and follows 0.6 percent and 1.3 percent increases in August and July.

$35.1 billion (US$22.5 billion) was a record-high for total sales, an increase of 17.9% over the previous 12 months. The increase in overall sales was once again mostly driven by the food industry, with food retailing increasing by 1% and cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services expanding by 1.3 %.

According to ABS head of retail statistics Ben Dorber, “many retailers remained open for the National Day of Mourning, an additional one-off public holiday in September, and this increased expenditure on food, alcohol, and dining out.”

As sales increased by 2% to $2.99 billion in September, spending on clothing and shoes remained high.

The department store industry and retailing of domestic items, which had been stagnant in recent months, saw a little decline, though.

While retail trade increased in September, according to Sean Langcake, head of macroeconomic forecasting at BIS Oxford Economics, price inflation was feeding greater sales, suggesting a real decline in consumer expenditure.

Average retail petrol prices jumped 4.8 cents to $1.84 a litre in the week ending October 30, according to Australian Institute of Petroleum (CommSec). There was a significant price difference in the Northern Territory, with retailers charging over two dollars per litre. The dampening demand for oil due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China continued to put downward pressure on prices. Production restrictions by oil-producing countries kept prices at higher levels.

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