Retail Sales Rise in May, Defying Market Expectations

ABS statistics reveal that retail sales rose for a second straight month, defying market expectations.

The sales in May rose by 0.6 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis to $26.08 billion, dropping from April’s 1 per cent but still above economists’ expectation of 0.2 per cent.

Sales increased across all sectors except department stores, which were down 0.7 per cent in May after rising 2.6 per cent in April.

While most states reported increase in sales – ranging from 0.3 per cent in Western Australia to 1.3 per cent in New South Wales – Queensland fell by 1.1 per cent, accounting for its sixth decline in the past seven months.

However, Queensland retailers should not be overly concerned about the statistics, according to Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman.

“Year on year it has gone down from 4.05 per cent growth to 3.07 per cent, so it has lost a little bit of territory,” said Zimmerman. “But it’s fairly healthy and just a blip below the national average.”