Retail sales rise again, up 0.9% in May to record level

29 June 2022

Australian retail turnover rose 0.9 per cent in May 2022, reaching another record level, according to the Retail Trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The rise in May was the fifth consecutive monthly rise in retail turnover following rises of 0.9 per cent in April 2022, 1.6 per cent in March 2022, 1.8 per cent in February 2022 and 1.6 per cent in January 2022.

Ben Dorber, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics said, “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.”

Department stores had the largest rise, up 5.1 percent, followed by cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services (1.8 per cent), other retailing (1.5 per cent), food retailing (0.6 per cent) and household goods retailing (0.4 per cent).

Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing was the only industry to record a fall, down 1.4 per cent, following three consecutive monthly rises.

Of the states and territories, New South Wales had the largest rise in retail turnover, up 1.6 per cent, followed by Victoria, up 1.3 per cent.

Turnover also rose in South Australia (1.9 per cent), Western Australia (0.2 per cent), Tasmania (1.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.6 per cent).

The only states or territories to record falls were Queensland, down 0.4 per cent, and the Australian Capital Territory, down 0.3 per cent. The fall in Queensland follows increased turnover from the flood recovery in March and a boost from tourism in April.

Additional information on the May reference period will be released on 5 July 2022. Please see survey impacts and changes for further information.