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Retail is growing at a snail pace – but still, August trading was higher than the previous month

The latest ABS Retail Trade figures show that Australia’s retail turnover rose 0.4 per cent in August.


Although hardly stellar, it marks a greater rise than the 0.1 per cent jump in retail recorded in July.


The largest contributors to the August rise were: department stores (+6.4 per cent) followed by cafes, restaurants (+0.4 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing also rose, albeit by 0.3 per cent.  


These rises were partially offset by falls in household goods retailing – down 0.6 per cent – and other retailing, which also fell slightly.


Retailers in Victoria enjoyed the biggest rise (0.6 per cent) followed by NSW (0.4 per cent), WA (0.7 per cent), Qld (0.2 per cent), NT (1.3 per cent) and Tas (0.3 per cent).


There were slight falls in South Australia and ACT retail.


Over the longer term, South Australia is the largest contributor to the overall strength.


National Australia Bank’s (NAB) online retail index, released today, suggests web sales fell by 0.1 per cent in August.


Through the year, Australian retail turnover rose 2.3 per cent in August 2013, seasonally adjusted, compared to August 2012, according to ABS. The trend estimate was relatively unchanged in August at zero per cent.

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