Australians are buying more shoes, going to department stores less, and eating in restaurants about the same, according the latest retail spending figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Retail spending rose 0.2 per cent in December, which was short of economists’ expectations but stronger than the 0.1 per cent rise in November.
Total retail spending was $23.806 billion in December, up from $23.755 billion in November, the ABS said on Thursday.
The ABS said the largest contributor to the rise was clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.7 per cent). Food retailing was the only other industry to rise in December, increasing by 0.3 per cent.
Spending on cafés, restaurants and take-away services stayed the same, while spending on household goods and department stores fell.
Spending was strongest in Queensland (0.6 per cent), followed by Western Australia (0.5 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.4 per cent) and New South Wales (0.2 per cent). Victoria was unchanged, while there were falls in the Northern Territory (-0.1 per cent.), South Australia (-0.4 per cent), Tasmania (-1.3 per cent).
Over the December quarter, retail sales rose 1.5 per cent to $69.435 billion, seasonally adjusted.
– with AAP