Retail sales in February up on pre-pandemic spending

Retail sales in February up on pre-pandemic spending

Statistics revealed today show retail sales in February were up 8.7 per cent on the same month of 2020 before the pandemic was declared, reaching $30.19 billion nationwide.

This represented a 1.1 per cent fall on January retail turnover due to lockdown-triggered declines in Victoria and Western Australia.

"Restrictions due to COVID-19 in Victoria, and parts of Western Australia, drove the February fall. Victoria fell 4 per cent, and Western Australia fell 6 per cent, as trade was restricted for five days in each state," says Ben James, the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) director of quarterly economy-wide surveys.

"The falls were partially offset by rises in New South Wales and Queensland. Both these states had seen trade impacted by COVID-19 in January, and in February saw rises in industries such as clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores."

Food retailing had the largest falls by industry across the country, although it was still up 6.5 per cent compared to February 2020.

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