July retail trade figures have warmed up retailers and helped lead the sector to the best trading outcomes since the GFC, according to analysis from the Australian National Retailers’ Association (ANRA).
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released retail figures today showing an increase of 0.4 per cent in July compared to June. Throughout the year to July retail turnover rose 5.9 per cent.
ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said in the past six months retailers have been experiencing their best trading results since the GFC and this is a really positive sign for the sector.
“The food sector (up 0.7%) regained top spot outperforming non-food sectors which remained flat (0.0%). Despite this, department stores came out on top with their first rise in three months – up 1.9 per cent. Extended mid-year clearances have most likely contributed to the gain.
“Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services followed suit delivering their strongest performance since January – up 1.4 per cent. Food retailing also rose 0.5 per cent and has now experienced five months of gains. Clothing, footwear and accessories (up 0.1%) also delivered positive results. Falls were seen across the household goods (down 0.2%) and other retailing categories (down 0.6%).
“Today’s numbers show consumers in the eastern states spent up in July with the ACT leading the charge (up 2.6%). July’s result is the ACT’s best result since January 2013. Contributing to this rise was takeaway (up 12%), pharmaceutical and cosmetics (up 9%) and footwear (up 9%).
“New South Wales and Victoria continued their strong performances – up 0.7 and 0.6 respectively. South Australia and Queensland also recorded positive retail trade figures, while Western Australia remained cautious and Tasmania recorded a minor decrease. The fall is Tasmania was largely attributed to a 26 per cent fall in newspapers and books.
“The Northern Territory recorded the largest fall amongst the states – down 2.3 per cent. It’s the Northern Territory’s biggest fall since July 2012 however we wouldn’t expect retailers to be concerned by this result as the state has delivered some volatile results in recent months,” said Mrs Osmond.
Year-on-year, New South Wales is the strongest state with 9.8 per cent growth in July 2014 compared to July 2013.
“July’s figures have warmed up retailers’ hopes of reaching annual growth of six per cent by the end of the year. Retailers however remain cautious as consumers still have rising unemployment, soft consumer confidence and an unpredictable Senate weighing on their minds,” said Mrs Osmond.