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Retail doom and gloom continues as turnover falls 0.2% in April, ABS confirmed today.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade figures show that Australian retail turnover fell 0.2% in April, after seasonal adjustments.

This disappointing figure came after a rise for retail revenues of 1.1% in March.

The largest contributor to the fall was ‘Household goods’ retailing (-0.8%), which includes electronic goods, furniture, hardware, followed by ‘Other retailing’ (newspaper and book retailing and Entertainment media), which slumped -0.7%.

These latest figures come as no surprise considering Dick Smith’s sales fell 0.3% to $356 m ending 1 April ’12 it said last month and every other major retailer – including JB HiFi – are issuing profit warnings, although cautious JB expects to achieve its yearly sales target of $3.1 billion as sales “improved progressively” over the March quarter.

Department stores (-1.0%), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.1%) all fell in April

However, cafes, restaurants and takeaways did better witnessing as 0.4%, while food retailing was marginally up by 0.1%.

Victoria suffered the biggest fall (-1.6%), followed by WA (-0.2%), Tas (-0.6%), the ACT (-0.6%) and the NT (-0.9%), while NSW, Qld and SA enjoyed slightly better fortunes; although none rose more than 1%.

The figures were “disappointing to retailers who were hoping for a slight boost given the Easter holiday period and relaxing of trading hours in some states,” said the Australian Retailers Association today.

March was a relatively strong month given the soft sales environment retailers are currently in, and the ARA predicts retail figures will “continue to show slow to zero growth over the next few months,” it warned today.

“The decline shows consumers might have had more time up their sleeves in April but sadly no cash in their pockets,” said ARA Exec Director Russell Zimmerman.

 

“The RBA’s decision to leave the cash rate unchanged for April coupled with banks raising interest rates showed little regard for the stress consumers are under and the pressure retailers are facing in getting people through their doors.”

In trend terms, turnover rose 0.3% in April, following a rise of 0.3% in March and in February 2012.

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