The ABS has released its preliminary retail sales for June, which fell 1.8% over the month to be up 2.9% year-on-year:
According to the ABS:
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- The fall of 1.8% in June 2021 follows a rise of 0.4% in May 2021.
- By state, Victoria (-3.5%) and New South Wales (-2.0%) led the falls, with both under stay-at-home orders for part of the month. Victoria’s fall this month is larger than the fall seen in May when the state commenced Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions.
- Food retailing (1.5%) was the only industry to rise in June, with those states entering lockdown during the month driving the increase. All other industries fell, as COVID-19 restrictions curtailed foot traffic and household movements, while retailers moved back to online distribution channels.
- Despite the impact of restrictions on June 2021, through-the-year sales remain positive, up 2.9% compared to June 2020.
- In seasonally adjusted current price terms, the preliminary estimate shows the June quarter rose by 1.3% compared to the March quarter 2021. This follows a fall of 0.1% in the March quarter 2021. Quarterly volume estimates will be included in the final release on 4 August 2021.
The ABS noted that sales in June were impacted heavily by Victoria’s two-week hard lockdown:
Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “June’s fall in turnover was due to the impact of coronavirus restrictions across multiple states. Victoria saw restrictions from the start of the month, which were gradually eased from the 11th of June. New South Wales, in particular Greater Sydney, saw stay-at-home orders issued towards the end of the month. Other states and territories saw interrupted trade due to mini-lockdowns, as well as reduced mobility between states with the tightening of border restrictions.”
With NSW, Victoria and South Australia all in hard lockdown, July’s retail sales will fall quite heavily.
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