Retail sales surged in May as Australian economy reopens

On Friday, official data showed retails sales in Australia saw a record surge in May following a wide scale easing in coronavirus lockdowns which allowed entire sectors to reopen.

The bounce back underscores growing confidence that consumer spending will not be as weak as earlier predicted in the June quarter. This offers hope that the Australian economy can recover from its first recession in three decades.

Retail sales have jumped a seasonally adjusted 16.9% in May, from April when it tumbled 17.7%. Sales were also up over 5% on May last year at $20.06 billion (A$28.97 billion), according to data made available by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

According to the ABS report, sale levels in the clothing and footwear sectors remain well below the same time last year.

According to the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), card spending in the week to June 26 was up 4.5% on a year ago after a 7.1% lift for the week ended June 19.

Separate data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed the slowest decline in new vehicle sales since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. New vehicle sales fell 6.4% compared with June 2019, following double digit year-on-year declines in March, April and May.

Economists are keeping a close eye on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monthly policy meeting on Tuesday for any upgrades in forecasts ahead of its quarterly outlook due in August.

Categories: Creativity, Economy & Finance, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Regulations & Legal, Strategy

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