The ABS has released preliminary retail sales for February, which recorded a 0.4% rebound over the month, but a moderation in annual retail sales growth to just 1.7% year-on-year:
- The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.4% in February 2020. This result follows falls in both December 2019 and January 2020.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, Australian turnover rose 1.7% in February 2020 compared with February 2019.
- The rise in seasonally adjusted terms in February 2020 was largely driven by the Food Retailing sub industry with Supermarkets recording increases in demand.
- Offsetting weakness was seen in the Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing sub industry where businesses reported adverse impacts from COVID-19.
- Weakness was also seen in Other retailing including duty free stores and luxury goods retailing where businesses that are heavily reliant on overseas visitors reported impacts from COVID-19.
- Other than Supermarkets, retailers with no specific links to tourism were largely unaffected in February 2020.