Australia: Retail sales collapse in April amid lockdown
May 21, 2020
Preliminary data shows nominal retail sales in April nosedived at the fastest pace on record amid lockdown. They plummeted 17.9% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, sharply contrasting March’s 8.5% jump which was boosted by fears of shortages of essential products. Preliminary figures are based on data provided by businesses that make-up approximately 80% of total retail turnover.
April’s crash was broad-based. Particularly pronounced falls were recorded in food retailing, cafes, restaurants and takeaways, and clothing, footwear and personal accessories.
In annual terms, retail sales plunged 9.4% in April, contrasting March’s 9.4% surge and marking the sharpest decrease on record. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales dropped from 3.5% in March to 2.4% in April.