May retail sales bounce, confidence lifts

The latest ABS retail trade figures show that Australian retail turnover rose 0.3% in May following a fall of -0.1 per cent in April 2015, seasonally adjusted, helped by a more consumer-friendly Federal Budget.

Supermarket, grocery and convenience store sales led the food retailing segment.

In monthly terms at current prices, the trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.2% in May 2015 following 0.3% growth in April 2015, and rose 4.4% in year-on-year terms.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in food retailing (0.7%), but falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.2%).

For the original estimate of Australian turnover, chains and other larger retailers rose 3.2%, while smaller retailers rose 3.1% in May 2015.

In current prices, the trend estimate for Food retailing rose 0.2% in May 2015. By industry subgroup, the trend estimate rose for Supermarket, grocery, and convenience stores (non-petrol) by (0.3%), was relatively unchanged for Liquor retailing (0.0%), and fell for Other specialised food retailing (-0.3%).

The seasonally adjusted estimate rose for Supermarket, grocery and convenience stores (0.7%) led Liquor retailing (0.6%) and Other specialised food retailing (0.5%).

Continued growth in the May 2015 retail trade figures indicated the strength of Australian retail, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), with benchmark year on year (annual) sales growth tracking at 4.6% to $24.1 billion.

“Consumers appear to have been more confident with the Government’s more conservative budget, and that has played out in the pleasing boost to May 2015 retail trade figures,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said.

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