Retail sales collapsed 18% in April

The ABS has released its official retail sales data, which registered a record decline of 17.7%, which follows March’s record 8.5% rise on the back of grocery hoarding:

In annual terms, retail sales dived by 9.2%:

According to the ABS:

  • The following industries fell in seasonally adjusted terms in April 2020: Food retailing (-17.4%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-35.4%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-53.6%), Other retailing (-14.4%), Department stores (-14.9%), and Household goods retailing (-0.1%).
  • The following states and territories fell in seasonally adjusted terms in April 2020: Victoria (-21.1%), New South Wales (-17.5%), Queensland (-15.7%), Western Australia (-16.8%), South Australia (-14.6%), Tasmania (-17.5%), the Australian Capital Territory (-14.9%), and the Northern Territory (-7.7%).

This result was well telegraphed, given it was flagged by the ABS’ preliminary sales data.

Leith van Onselen

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