Clothing, footwear and accessories retailing experienced a bounce-back in August, with turnover rising 1.8% according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

This rise follows a 1% decline for the segment in July. 

Overall, retail in general also experienced a rise in turnover, with the sector rising 0.4% in August following a 0.1% decline in July.

ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys Ben James said that the majority of the segments the Bureau tracks experienced rises in August. 

"Food retailing (0.4%) led the rises, while there were also rises in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.8%), department stores (1.1%), household goods retailing (0.3%), and other retailing (0.3%).

"The rises were partly offset by a fall in cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (-0.3%)," he said. 

Online retailing contributed 6.2% of total retail turnover in August, a 0.6% rise on its contribution to total retail turnover in August 2018. 

Across Australia there were rises in Queensland (0.8%), New South Wales (0.3%), Victoria (0.3%), South Australia (0.6%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.9%), and Tasmania (0.2%).

Meanwhile there were minor falls in Western Australia (-0.1%) and the Northern Territory (-0.1%).

CEO of the National Retail Association Dominique Lamb said that the figures are looking positive but encouraged consumers to continue spending into the Christmas period. 

"The August results are a big improvement on July, with rises in turnover recorded across all industries bar one. 

"Several economic levers have been pulled in recent months – such as cuts to income tax and interest rates – to lift retail out of its slumber and the results indicate that things may be starting to slowly turnaround.

"Retail is certainly not out of the woods and consumer confidence still needs to lift, but the August figures certainly represent a positive sign. 

"As we head into the Christmas period, the NRA certainly urges Aussies to spend any extra money they’ve received via tax cuts or the drop in interest rates at their local retail outlet," she said. 

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