Australia Retail May 2020


Australia: Easing in coronavirus lockdowns prompts a record-sharp surge in retail sales in May

June 19, 2020

Preliminary data shows nominal retail sales in May skyrocketed at the fastest pace on record amid easing coronavirus lockdowns. They jumped 16.3% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, sharply contrasting April’s record 17.7% freefall which was caused by widespread shutdowns. Preliminary figures are based on data provided by businesses that make-up approximately 80% of total retail turnover.

May’s surge was broad-based. Particularly pronounced increases were recorded in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.

In annual terms, retail sales climbed 5.3% in May, contrasting April’s 8.9% plunge which had marked the sharpest decrease on record. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales rose from 2.4% in April to 2.6% in May.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists are still assessing the latest developments.

Author: Massimo Bassetti, Senior Economist

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Australia Retail Chart

Australia Retail May 20 20

Note: Month-on-month seasonally adjusted changes and annual average variation of retail sales index in %.
Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics and FocusEconomics calculations.

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