Strong retail sales in July for most states

Retail sales have bounced back according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with the sector recording a nationwide rise of 3.3 per cent on the June figures.

Each state and territory recorded increased turnover except for Victoria, which entered a second lockdown a couple of weeks ago.

While the numbers are promising, NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says we still need to be cautious.

“The results are certainly very good, but we need to be mindful that we are operating in an incredibly volatile time,” she explains. “There’s a lot that’s still to play out and there are myriad variables at play.”

The key question to ask is ‘how long will the good times last’? Subsidies such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker will have to end eventually and the events in Victoria demonstrate that a second-wave is possible in any state.

“We still only have around 80 per cent of shopping centre stores trading and the drop in tourism dollars from international and domestic border closures are bound to have an impact.

While Lamb certainly isn’t trying to talk down these good figures, she is aware that things can change at any minute and these results do come off the back of temporary government assistance.

“The August report will include the impact of stage 4 lockdown across Victoria and it will be interesting to see if it unveils a hit on consumer confidence more broadly.”