march retail trade preliminary report

The Australian retail sector is leading the charge in the nation’s recovery from the COVID-pandemic with an April sales boom.

Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that nationwide retail sales grew by a healthy 1.1. per cent in the month of April. The figures also come off the back of ABS data showing that GDP grew by 1.8 per cent for the March quarter.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the ABS April data demonstrated how crucial the retail sector was to Australia’s economic recovery.

“Retail sales boomed nationwide in April, with the Australian economy now bigger than it was before the bushfires and COVID double-whammy,” Ms Lamb said.

“April was the first month after the expiration of JobKeeper and the Coronavirus Supplement, so the strong consumer spending levels are cause for optimism.

“Retail remains absolutely crucial to Australia charting a successful recovery between now and when the pandemic finally ends. If consumers are spending money at the shops, it’s a good indicator that the economy is ticking along nicely.”

Ms Lamb did warn however that the current situation in Victoria demonstrates that challenges remain.

“The extended Victorian lockdown has thousands of jobs hanging in the balance. If similar restrictions are emulated in other states then it would put a major handbrake on Australia’s COVID-recovery,” Ms Lamb said.

“Governments at all levels still need to be prepared to offer assistance in the event of prolonged lockdowns. The last thing we want to do is hamper Australia’s strong revival from the country’s first recession in 30 years.”