Queensland’s Supermarkets Help Retail Sales in April
Retail sales in Queensland rose 0.5% in April as cash registers nationally remain subdued following a 0.2% gain according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that Queensland outperformed the national benchmark where spending in supermarkets and cafés offset a poor month for discretionary items that continue to operate in a challenging economic environment.
In an analysis of the ABS data, Queensland’s retail spend was $5.5 billion over the April period amounting to $64.3 billion over the 12 months.
CCIQ Head of Media and Industry, Dan Petrie said a third consecutive month of growth for Queensland’s retail sector whilst positive is being masked by resilient food sales which effectively shows consumers continuing to exercise caution with their spending decisions.
“Supermarket, cafes, restaurants and take away food services, clothing and footwear, pharmaceuticals and department store items did reasonably well over the month whilst a weaker activity in construction and dwelling approvals continues to weigh on retailers specialising in hardwares, clothing and electronics.
“Positive data will almost always be welcome by policy makers in terms of boosting both business and consumer confidence but any growth is marginal at best.”
“On an annual account, supermarkets, clothing, hardware, building and garden supplies held the greatest growth in spending while café’s, restaurants and caterers as well as furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textiles fell.”
“The simple fact remains business activity in construction, resources projects and infrastructure investment is not occurring at the rate that will drive more meaningful gains for Queensland shopkeepers,” Mr Petrie said.