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E-commerce soars in June as lockdowns bite

Online retail sales accelerated 7.6 per cent in June, following a rebound in May from a down-note in April, according to NAB’s monthly online retail sales index.

In year-on-year terms the acceleration pushed June’s growth back into double digits, landing 18.1 per cent higher than a year prior.

According to NAB chief economist Alan Oster, this is indicative of the “considerable strength” of online sales during the month, given June 2020 was already 53 per cent higher than June 2019.

“Given the patterns observed over the past year, it is likely that this result has been strongly influenced by the lockdown period,” Oster said.

“Having said that, online sales growth accelerated in states and territories with and without lockdown in the month.”

Victoria led the sales growth on a month-by-month basis, up about 11 per cent, followed by the ACT, NSW, and South Australia.

And, in terms of industries, department stores saw 12 per cent growth during the month, while homewares grew just shy of 10 per cent and grocery and fashion each grew almost 9 per cent.

Online sales had begun ‘slowing’ in April, due to being compared to the initial spike in e-commerce sales during 2020, but as Australia continued struggling with the Covid-19 outbreak sales have picked back up.

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