Australian retail sales remained at record levels in June with $34.2 billion spent in stores and online – an increase of 12% on a year ago and up 0.2% compared to May 2022, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Clothing, footwear and accessories sales surged ahead of all categories with 26.5% growth.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra cautioned that while sales volumes remain elevated, they are also linked to the higher consumer prices we’re seeing across the economy and not necessarily a full reflection of business performance.
“It’s an incredibly challenging environment for businesses right now, with a number of cost pressures associated with fuel, energy, supply chains and rent, along with labour cost increases and skill shortages that are preventing retailers from trading at their full potential,” Zahra said.
“While retail sales have been at record levels for four straight months now, this is not an accurate picture of sector performance given the inflationary landscape businesses are trading in. Consumers are paying more for everyday items, while at the same time, business operating costs have increased significantly.
“We also know that consumers are feeling anxious with the rising cost of living and interest rates and that is likely to impact spending in the coming months as mortgage repayments increase, and as Australians start to tighten their household budgets.”