Australian retail remains strong in September

Australian retail sales hit a record high in September as consumers remain willing to spend despite higher interest rates and mounting pressure on cost of living.

according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said retail trade rose for the ninth straight month in September, rising a further 0.6% over the period, following a 0.6% rise in August and a 1.3% rise in July.

Total revenue reached a record $35.1 billion (US$22.5 billion), up 17.9% from the last 12 months.

The food industry was again the main driver of total sales growth, with food retailers up 1% and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services up 1.3%.

“Many retailers remained open on National Day of Morning, an additional one-off holiday in September, which increased spending on food, alcohol and dining out.” Ben Dover said.

Clothing and footwear spending remained strong as September sales increased 2% to $2.99 ​​billion.

However, department stores and home goods retailers, which have been stagnant in recent months, declined slightly.

Epoch Times photo
People walk on Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne, Australia December 26, 2021. (Diego Fedele/Getty Images)

Sean Langcake, head of macroeconomic forecasts at BIS Oxford Economics, said while retail grew in September, inflation led to higher sales, suggesting a real fall in consumer spending. said there is.

“This is especially true for food and hospitality sales, where costs have increased due to the impact of flooding on fresh food prices and rising labor costs,” Langcake said in a comment obtained by AAP.

Furthermore, it said declining retail sales growth for discretionary items could suggest Australian households were beginning to feel the effects of higher interest rates and a spike in inflation.

“Private spending momentum will slow further as interest rates rise further,” he said.

rising gasoline prices

Retail sales increased in the week ending 30 October as petrol prices rose across the country, except in Western Australia.

data from Australian Petroleum Institute National average retail gasoline prices rose 4.8 cents to $1.84 per liter, while wholesale averages stabilized at $1.75 per liter.

However, in the Northern Territory, there was a big difference in price, with retailers charging over $2 per liter.

In comments obtained by AAP, CommSec chief economist Craig James said oil price movements were slowing down as the decline in oil demand due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China continued to put downward pressure on prices. He said the underlying factors had not changed. Producing countries kept prices high.

Alfred Bui


Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne, focusing on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds his two master’s degrees in business and business law. Please contact [email protected]