Retail sales slow to +0.2% higher in February

Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in February 2023, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This follows a 1.8 per cent rise in January 2023.

Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics, said retail sales rose modestly in February and appear to have levelled out after a period of increased volatility over November, December and January.

β€œOn average, retail spending has been flat through the end of 2022 and to begin the new year.”

β€œSpending in food related industries continued to grow steadily in February, with cafes restaurants and takeaway food services up 0.5 per cent, while food retailing rose 0.2 per cent.”

β€œNon-food industry results were mixed as consumers continue to pull back on discretionary spending in response to high cost of living pressures,” Mr Dorber said.

Of the non-food industries, department stores rose 1.0 per cent in February, followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (+0.6 per cent). Other retailing was the only industry to record a fall this month, down 0.4 per cent, while household goods retailing remained relatively unchanged (0.0 per cent).

Retail turnover rose modestly across most of the states and territories, with rises at 1.0 per cent or less. Queensland recorded the only fall in turnover, down 0.4 per cent.

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