Retail has made a promising start to 2021 according to the preliminary report for January released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Nationwide turnover rose by a solid 0.6 per cent for the month, while January spending rose by 10.7 per cent compared to January 2020.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the steady rise in monthly sales indicated good news, but uncertainty remains until the pandemic is over.
“The preliminary retail figures for January are promising, showing a solid monthly increase,” Ms Lamb said.
“The first month of the year is generally a bit slow following the Christmas rush, however domestic retail certainly benefited from consumers unable to travel overseas for holidays.
“Queensland appears to be the only state to have gone backwards in January, no doubt due to the three-day hard lockdown. This underlines the fact that while the possibility of hard lockdowns remain, a degree of business uncertainty will remain.
“Also, assistance measures such as JobKeeper are due to end in just over month and this will likely reduce discretionary spending.
“An efficient and successful rollout of the COVID vaccine will be critical to removing the potential for hard lockdowns, providing business certainty and ensuring a timely economic recovery.”