Australia: Retail sales slump in August amid strict lockdown in Victoria state
Nominal retail sales in August fell 4.0% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms, contrasting July’s 3.2% increase and putting an end to three consecutive months of expansions. The virus-stricken state of Victoria bore the brunt of the slump.
August’s decline was broad-based. Particularly pronounced decreases were recorded in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing; cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services; household goods retailing; department stores.
In annual terms, retail sales rose 5.4% in August, following July’s 12.8% expansion—which had marked the strongest increase since mid-2001. Meanwhile, annual average growth in retail sales rose from 4.0% in July to 4.2% in August.