Australian retail trade figures increase in January

Australian retail has made a solid start to the New Year according to the January trade report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Nationwide turnover rose by 0.5 per cent for the month, while January spending rose by 10.6 per cent compared to January 2020.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said there were rises across each state and territory, except for Queensland which experienced a three-day hard lockdown in January.

“Following yesterday’s better than expected GDP figures for the December quarter, retail had a solid start to 2021,” Ms Lamb said.

“The first month of the year is generally a bit slow following the Christmas rush, however domestic retail certainly benefited from consumers unable to travel overseas for holidays.

“Queensland was the only state to go backwards in January, due almost entirely to the snap three-day lockdown during the month. The February data will reveal if Western Australia and Victoria experience a similar reduction in economic activity following their hard-lockdowns.

“This is why a swift and safe rollout of the COVID vaccine is essential. Even short, sharp and successful lockdowns can have a material impact on the economy.

“An efficient rollout of the COVID vaccine will be critical to removing the potential for hard lockdowns, providing business certainty and ensuring a timely economic recovery.”