Sales figures show retailers on track for steady Christmas spend

Aussie retailers are expecting a robust few weeks through to Christmas, after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its retail trade data for October.

NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the August figures, which show a 0.3 per cent increase in trend terms and a 0.5 per cent increase seasonally adjusted, indicate the industry is moving in the right direction.

“Today’s figures show momentum grew through October, heading into the busy festive period,” Mr Evans said.  

The ABS found that consumer spending grew in the following retail categories in trend terms: food retailing (0.3 per cent), household goods retailing (0.4 per cent), other retailing (0.5 per cent), department stores (0.7 per cent) and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.1 per cent). Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing fell 0.1 per cent.

There was growth in Victoria (0.6 per cent), New South Wales (0.4 per cent), Western Australia (0.3 per cent), Queensland (0.1 per cent), Tasmania (0.5 per cent), South Australia (0.2 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.1 per cent). The Australian Capital Territory fell 0.1 per cent.  

Mr Evans said the outlook was positive heading into the busy Christmas season.

“Today’s figures reveal the retail industry is gaining traction as we head into the thick of the Christmas retail period,” Mr Evans said. 

“We can expect to see a further increase in retail spend reflected in the November figures, as consumers hit the shops in preparation for Christmas.”

The NRA is Australia's largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and the broader service sector for almost 100 years. 

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