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Australian retail sales rose for the third quarter in a row, up 1.4 per cent in the June quarter 2022 to reach a new record level, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
This rise in the total volume of retail trade follows rises of 1.0 per cent in the March quarter 2022 and 7.7 per cent in the December quarter 2021.
Ben Dorber, head of retail statistics, said sales volumes continued to rise into the June quarter, despite the largest rises in retail prices since the introduction of the GST in 2000, with price rises of 1.7 per cent in June and 1.8 per cent in March.
“Much of the growth in the June quarter sales volumes came from cafes, restaurants, and takeaway foods services, which rose 8.6 per cent over the quarter and continued their post-lockdown resurgence,” he said.
Strong rises in sales volumes were also seen in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, up 3.9 per cent, and department stores, up 3.0 per cent.
“The top three retail industries in the June quarter were all hit hard during lockdowns. Since the end of the Delta lockdowns, they have all continued to recover quickly, as they have returned to more usual trading conditions,” Mr Dorber said.
Other retailing sales volumes rose for the eighth consecutive quarter, up 1.2 per cent in June.
Sales volumes fell in two industries, with household goods retailing recording the largest fall, down 1.8 per cent in volume terms after a 1.0 per cent fall in March. Food retailing fell 0.8 per cent in June, the industry’s third consecutive quarterly fall in volumes.
“Cost of living pressures and increasing interest rates appear to be weighing more on sales volumes for household goods retailing, the industry where most high-priced discretionary items are sold,” Mr Dorber said.
There was underlying strength in volumes across the country with rises in six of the states and territories. Queensland had the largest rise, up 2.4 per cent in volume terms, followed by Tasmania (2.0 per cent), Western Australia (1.3 per cent), South Australia (1.3 per cent), Victoria (1.2 per cent) and NSW (1.1 per cent).
The ACT remained relatively unchanged, while the Northern Territory was the only state to record volume fall, down 0.2 per cent. This continues a recent downward trend in volumes in the territory that has recorded three consecutive quarterly falls.