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Aussies returning to the tills … for now

  • Australia’s retail turnover increased in January 2022 after suffering a 4.4% dip in December 2021.
  • WA in particular led the nation with a 4.7% month-on-month increase in retail sales.
  • Reprieve could be short-lived as the cost of goods and services continue to rise across the board.

Australia’s retail turnover rose by 1.8% in January 2022 after suffering a 4.4% dip in December 2021 adding much needed strength to the post lockdown retail recovery with sales at near record highs.

According to retail trade figures released yesterday (February 28) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Western Australia led the nation with a 4.7% month-on-month increase in January, reaching a record high $3.7 billion.

WA’s retail growth came after a dismal 3.5% decline in December, which then was less than the national average as the State endured less hardships due to COVID-19 than most of Australia.

According to the ABS data, food retailing had the largest rise in sales last month up 2.2% across the country, which is the largest monthly rise since July 2021.

Other industries which experienced rises this past month include other retailing (4.5%), department stores (4.9%), and household goods retailing (0.6%). Clothing, footwear, and personal accessory retailing fell 1%, which was the only other industry to fall.

Meanwhile, Aussie companies are boasting stronger-than-expected cash reserves, whereby at the close of trade on Friday, some 164 S&P/ASX 200 companies reported results revealing that their aggregate cash holdings increased 60% to a record $246 billion as of December 31, according to disclosures tracked by CommSec.

Yet it remains unclear if retail spending will continue to increase, as the cost of goods and services across the board look set to continue their upward trajectory.

As previously reported by Grafa, the average price of unleaded fuel is rising and hit $2 per litre across Perth last week. The price of beef is up, as well as coffee, along with that of used cars and a swathe of goods and services.

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