Australian shares gain; Megaport, Bubs tumble; Flight Centre in $211m UK buy; retail sales plummet; CBA hits record high
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra says inflation helped drive sales growth boom in December from a year ago. Retail sales fell 3.9 per cent in December from November, but rose 7.5 per cent on the year-earlier month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
It was the first monthly fall in retail turnover after 11 consecutive monthly rises.
Mr Zara said while the results remain impressive for retail, the margin between inflation and sales growth is narrowing.
“Today’s data marks 16 consecutive months of year-on-year sales growth, which is an enormous achievement for retailers considering the disruption and challenges of the past few years,” Mr Zahra said.
“Australia saw a bumper Boxing Day spending spree, which bolstered sales to notch an impressive year-on-year increase.
“December’s results remain strong in the face of adversity, with economic headwinds proving to be a hurdle. With inflation hitting a post-1990 peak, it appears to be driving a significant proportion of sales growth.”
There were strong year-on-year sales increases for cafes, restaurants, and takeaway (up 25.46 per cent) with department stores (up 11.1 per cent) and clothing, footwear and accessories (up 7.4 per cent) also recording strong growth.
Retail sales fell across all states and territories on a monthly basis, but from a year ago, South Australia led the nation with a 10.9 per cent jump in sales.
NSW came in second, with a 9 per cent annual rise, followed by Victoria, where sales rose 6.5 per cent from a year ago. Mr Zahra said the sales figures were beginning to stabilise after periods of fluctuation.