Clothing, footwear and accessories retail turnover rose 2.0% in June according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

This rise follows a 0.2% decline for the sector in May. 

Overall, Australian retail turnover increased 0.4% in June, following a lacklustre 0.1% rise in May. 

Despite the strong results from the Clothing, footwear and accessories category, ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys, Ben James said that the retail industry is still facing challenges. 

"There were rises in five of the six industries this month, although overall the retail environment remains subdued.

"Rises were seen in Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, Other retailing (0.6%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (0.5%), Food retailing (0.1%) and Household goods retailing (0.2%).

"Department stores (-0.6%) was the only industry to fall this month," he said. 

Online retail contributed 6.1% to the total retail turnover in June 2019, while in June 2018 its contribution was 5.7%. 

In seasonally adjusted terms, New South Wales (0.3%), Western Australia (0.8%), Queensland (0.4%), Victoria (0.3%), Tasmania (1.5%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.3%) all experienced rises in June, while South Australia (-0.3%) and the Northern Territory (-0.2%) experienced declines in the month. 

In a statement, National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said that the most recent results show that retail has bounced back. 

"Just hours after some had been declaring that there was a ‘retail recession’, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sales figures for June saw a healthy spike in turnover for the month.

"In the final month of the 2018-19 financial year, retail sales soared by 0.4 per cent, a welcome sign following underwhelming results in previous months.

"But what’s also important to note is that last week’s figures don’t include the impact of the personal tax cuts or the latest reduction in interest rates (both of which took place in July).

"This does not mean that retail is out of the woods and there are still challenges ahead, however, there is reason to be optimistic that retail is breaking from its slumber and is ready to surge in the second-half of 2019," she said. 

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