Australia’s retail sales declined more than expected in June, preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Wednesday.
Retail sales decreased 1.8 percent month-on-month in June, in contrast to a 0.4 percent rise in May. This was also bigger than the economists’ forecast of -0.5 percent.
Food retailing was the only industry to rise in June, up 1.5 percent with those states entering lockdown during the month driving the increase.
All other industries decreased as COVID-19 restrictions curtailed foot traffic and household movements, while retailers moved back to online distribution channels.
On a yearly basis, growth in retail sales eased to 2.9 percent from 7.7 percent in May.
The preliminary estimate showed that retail sales rose 1.3 percent in the June quarter compared to the March quarter. This followed a fall of 0.1 percent in the March quarter.