woman close shop sign look into screen
Retail figures are up but that’s not good news for everyone. Image – Canva.
  • $31 billion was spent in April
  • Month-on-month growth was 1.1%, yearly was 25.1%
  • ARA said whilst pleasing, it's not the whole picture

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the prelimnary retail turnover figures for April and it is looking up.

In fact, 1.1% up.

“The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 1.1% ($350.2m) from March 2021 to April 2021.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Compared to last year, it is a 25.1% increase.

Seasonally adjusted percentage change (1)
Source – ABS.

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said “All industries except department stores rose, with similar rises for cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services, household goods retailing, and other retailing.”

“Food retailing led the rises in April, following falls in both February and March 2021.”

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, ABS

Seasonally adjusted and trend level (1)
Source – ABS.

The ABS said total spend over April, both online and in-store, was some $31 billion.

The CEO of the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Paul Zahra responded to today’s figures, and said “whilst comparisons against the 2020 lockdown period are complex, retail trade remains healthy overall,”.

“Whilst today’s results are pleasing, it doesn’t paint a complete picture of what the retail sector is going through. Our recovery is uneven, and some businesses are in a better position than others.”

Paul Zahra, CEO, Australian Retailers Association

Mr Zahra also said, “CBD retailers, particularly small businesses, along with travel retailers are our biggest concern. They continue to suffer through the absence of international students, tourists, and city office workers.”

It will be interesting to see what the results are of driving office workers back to the CBD in Brisbane, the latest campaign to encourage workers back, Friday in the City, kicks off today.

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