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  • Australian retail sales grow by 7.3 per cent in November to a record high of $33.4 billion seasonally adjusted, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures
  • The increase follows a 4.9 per cent lift in the country’s retail turnover, seasonally adjusted, in October 2021 and a 1.3 per cent rise in September
  • Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics Director Ben James says November’s jump hoists retail sales to their highest level ever recorded, up 5.8 per cent on the previous record set in November 2020
  • The strong November sales were attributed to record sales for clothing, footwear and personal accessories, up 38.2 per cent

Australian retail sales climbed 7.3 per cent in November last year to a record high of $33.4 billion seasonally adjusted, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures.

The increase follows a 4.9 per cent lift in the country’s total retail turnover, seasonally adjusted, in October 2021 and a 1.3 per cent rise in September. August recorded a 1.7 per cent drop alongside increasing COVID-19 restrictions.

Quarterly Economy Wide Statistics Director Ben James said November’s jump took retail sales to their highest level ever recorded, up 5.8 per cent on the previous record set in November 2020.

“Further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the South-Eastern States and Territories has seen the retail industry recover all lost momentum caused by the Delta outbreak,” Mr James said.

“Victoria recorded the largest state rise, up 20 per cent, reaching its highest level of the series. This follows the state’s lockdown ending in late October.”

“Continued easing of COVID-19 restrictions, including less strict density and capacity limits, in New South Wales (up 5.1 per cent) and the ACT (19.2 per cent) led to rises in turnover to record levels.”

The Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction that registered lower retail sales at 2.7 per cent, which were attributed to the impact of lockdowns and restrictions.

Australia’s strong November 2021 retail figures were fuelled by record sales for clothing, footwear and personal accessories (up 38.2 per cent), while turnover for household goods grew 11.6 per cent and other retailing 7.3 per cent.

According to the ABS, consumers also stepped up their spending ahead of the festive season to avoid potential shipping delays and low stock levels.

Food retailing was the only department to slide during the November period, down 2.5 per cent, as supermarkets and liquor outlets came out of lockdown conditions. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (up 9.3 per cent) softened the fall as households ventured out again.

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