Aussies spent $38.4 million on clothing, footwear and accessories in February, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates. 

The sector experienced a 1.6% increase during the month, with footwear and other personal accessory retailing rising 2.8% ($21.8 million) and clothing rising 1.8% ($16.5 million). 

Department stores also experienced a boost in spending in February, with the ABS recording a 2.2% lift ($36.6 million) for the industry.

Overall, Australian retail turnover fell 0.8% month-on-month in February - updating the preliminary prediction of a 1.1% fall. 

However, the industry is still performing better than it was in 2020, with turnover up 9.1% compared to February 2020.

ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys Ben James said that fashion retailing fared well in some states.

"Restrictions due to COVID-19 in Victoria, and parts of Western Australia, drove the February fall.

"Victoria fell 4%, and Western Australia fell 6%, as trade was restricted for five days in each state.

"The falls were partially offset by rises in New South Wales and Queensland.

"Both these states had seen trade impacted by COVID-19 in January, and in February saw rises in industries such as clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and department stores," he said.

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