Finance Finance News Retail sales post modest rise in April

Retail sales post modest rise in April

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Retail sales rose modestly in April, with department stores, food retailers and restaurants the biggest contributors.

The Bureau of Statistics figures show sales were up 0.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted, which was in line with the median forecast of economists polled by Reuters.

Department store sales rose 2.9 per cent, while the large category of food retailing also boosted the figures with its 0.2 per cent rise.

Within the overall food retailing category, the supermarkets again appear to be coming out on top with a 0.2 per cent rise, while a long combined Easter-Anzac Day break for many may explain why liquor retailing jumped 1.1 per cent – a category again dominated by Woolworths and Coles.

However, specialised food retailing slipped 1.3 per cent in April.

Cafes and restaurants saw a 0.5 per cent rise, while takeaway food had a 0.4 per cent increase.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessories was a significant contributor to retail sales growth, with turnover climbing 0.2 per cent overall, entirely driven by clothes, while shoes and bags eased slightly.

However, a 1 per cent fall in household goods retailing weighed on the figures, with all of that decline driven by a 6 per cent slump in furniture, floor coverings and homewares.

Electronic goods sales bucked that trend, rising 1 per cent, with hardware and garden supplies also selling well.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetics retailing dragged, falling 1.1 per cent, with newspapers and books also down 3.5 per cent.

However, recreational goods and the ‘other’ category both rose solidly in April.