Aussie retail sales still rising despite rate hikes

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released retail sales data for May, with sales rising for their fifth consecutive month by 0.9% to be up 10.4% year-on-year:

Monthly retail turnover

Retail sales were positive across all categories except clothing & footwear:

Monthly retail sales by component

Sales were also positive everywhere except QLD and ACT:

Retail turnover by state

According to Ben Dorber, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics at the ABS:

“There was growth across five of the six retail industries in May as spending remained resilient.”

“Higher prices added to the growth in retail turnover in May. This was most evident in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services and food retailing.”

While rising consumer prices are contributing to retail sales growth, there isn’t yet evidence that consumers have changed their behaviour in the face of rising interest rates. Although this data only captures the first 0.25% rate rise.

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