Retail trade falls for third consecutive month

Retail trade fell 1.7 per cent in August, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, marking the third consecutive monthly decline as lockdowns in Australia’s two largest cities crimp buying.

The August decline was the smallest over the past three months, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, however, and compares to a 2.7 per cent dip in July and 1.8 per cent fall in June.

“Retail turnover continues to be negatively impacted by lockdown restrictions, with each of the eastern mainland states experiencing falls in line with their respective level of restrictions,” said Ben James, director of quarterly economy wide surveys, for the ABS.

“In direct contrast, states with no lockdowns performed well with Western Australia and South Australia enjoying strong rises as physical stores were open for trade.”

NSW sales fell 3.5 per cent and in Victoria sales dropped 3 per cent, while South Australia’s sales jumped 6.6 per cent and Western Australia grew 2.8 per cent.

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