Retail sales bounce back thanks to cold winter

Retail sales bounce back thanks to cold winter

Clothing and food have helped boost national retail spending over the past year with healthy annual growth of 2.87 per cent recorded thanks to a strong run in June.

The 0.4 per cent increase in sales during June was ahead of expectations of a 0.3 per cent increase, and it's largely thanks to a cold winter, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).

"Winter finally hit in June as we saw the clothing, footwear and personal accessories category grow by 5.26 per cent year-on-year," says Russell Zimmerman, the ARA's executive director.

"Food retailing also saw a yummy result, growing 4.31 per cent in June with supermarkets making a tasty comeback by having their strongest growth since June last year."

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, seasonally adjusted retail spending rose to $26.813 billion in June.

The 0.4 per cent increase in June follows seasonally adjusted gains of 0.4 per cent in May and 0.5 per cent in April.

Specialised food rose 6.05 per cent during June, while liquor also surged by 4.72 per cent.

Department stores lifted 1.77 per cent, accounting for a second-consecutive monthly rise in year-on-year sales.

However, household goods proved a drag on the figures with a rise of just 0.6 per cent.

"We have seen the housing market come off the boil of late in several states, which explains the flat results for hardware and building and, more significantly, furniture which was down by 2.55 per cent," says Zimmerman. "People don't renovate when the housing market is down."

Nationally, Victoria recorded a 5.77 per cent increase in sales over June, followed by ACT at 4.3 per cent.

Tasmania was third strongest at 3.87 per cent, followed by NSW at 3.05 per cent, South Australia (2.53 per cent) and Northern Territory (2.39 per cent).

Queensland was almost flat at 0.62 per cent, while Western Australian sales edged lower by 0.46 per cent.

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