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“Meek growth” in May

woman shopping 2Australian retail turnover rose 2.8 per cent year-over-year according to the May retail trade figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

The rise represents a weaker lead-in to winter than retailers would have liked, according to the Australian Retailers Association.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, noted that while the “growth seems quite dismal, we need to take into account that this was before the second stage penalty rate reduction was implemented and the low-value import threshold (LVIT) GST was introduced.”

“While the ARA are concerned with this meek growth, the retail industry received two big wins on the 1st of July and we look forward to the benefits this will bring our retailers, their staff and the overall economy,” he said.

On a monthly basis the measure rose by 0.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, helping department stores and clothing rebound after poor showings in April according to National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb.

“Retail has now recorded two consecutive months of solid rises in turnover and we’re optimistic that it means that the sector has turned the corner following a modest start to 2018,” Lamb said.

The biggest growth categories year over year were Liquor (5.95 per cent), Other Retailing (5.77 per cent), and Specialised Food (5.06 per cent).

Food Retailing reaching a 3.71 per cent increase, while Clothing, footwear and personal accessories grew by 3.2 per cent.

Department store retail turnover saw a modest increase of 2.06 per cent, likely as a result of mid-year sales kick-starting consumer spending.

The Northern Territory had the largest growth (4.27 per cent), followed by Tasmania (3.82 per cent), Victoria (3.69 per cent), New South Wales (2.86 per cent), South Australia (2.35 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (2.22 per cent).

Queensland received little growth at 1.97 per cent, while turnover in Western Australia as fallen by 0.74 per cent.

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