Published on Aug 4, 2020

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According to retail trade figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian retail spending has unpredictably increased over the last few months during the pandemic.

Retail turnover rose 2.4% in the month of June which resulted in a growth of 5.8% compared to June 2019.

Rises in June were led by cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing.

While some restrictions remained in place for the month of June, many businesses in these industries saw a full month of trade with the exception of being closed for the first week of May 2020.

With restrictions on dining-in at cafes and restaurants and the restrictions on the number of people that could be in a shop at any one time, this impacted businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors significantly.

As to be expected the turnover in these industries remained below the levels of June 2019.

Despite the steady growth in overall retail sales, online retail saw a more impressive April, recording the most rapid growth in the NAB Online Retail Sales Index series history with a 16.4% increase.

The latest NAB Online Retail Sales Index indicates that growth tends to fluctuate from month to month, and with the recent changes COVID-19 has had on our economy, and day to day life has made it even more so.

The latest NAB Online Retail Sales Index shows five of eight categories recorded a sales contraction in month on month growth terms.

Takeaway food and fashion went against trend while sales for grocery and liquor was slower in May, this category has recorded continuous growth for each month over the past year.

Games and toys grew rapidly last month though recorded the largest sales contraction in May 2020.

NAB estimates Australians spent $34.18 billion on online retail, approximately 18.7% higher than the 12 months to May 2019.

View in Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

View in National Australia Bank (NAB) Online Sales Index