Retail trade shows surprising growth

RETAIL trade in Australia grew by 4.6% in the 12 months to February.

Figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retail trade was up 1.3% in February, seasonally adjusted, following a rise of 1.2% in January.

The largest contributor to the February rise was food retailing (1.1%) followed by household goods retailing (1.6%), other retailing (1.6%), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.3%), department stores (1.6%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.2%).

Over the longer term, the largest contributor to growth was household goods retailing (up 0.7% in trend terms) followed by food retailing (0.3%).

New South Wales drove the monthly increase, followed by Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT.

Over the longer term, Queensland was the strongest contributor to growth, up 0.6% in trend terms.



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