Australia: Retail sales skyrocket on panic buying in March
Preliminary data shows nominal retail sales in March surged at the fastest pace on record. They soared 8.2% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, following February’s 0.5% increase. Retail shopping was boosted by fears of shortages of essential products due to the spread of coronavirus in February. Preliminary figures are based on data provided by businesses that make-up approximately 80% of total retail turnover.
March’s jump was the result of soaring sales in food retailing more than offsetting lower sales in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, which were affected by new social distancing regulations introduced in March.