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Retail sales rise 0.3 per cent, boosted by fashion and online sales

Sydney Morning Herald logo Sydney Morning Herald 6 days ago Charlotte Grieve
a couple of people that are talking to each other: Spending on clothing bolstered retail sales in October. © Glenn Hunt Spending on clothing bolstered retail sales in October. Retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in October, in line with market predictions as higher spending on clothing and footwear offset lower spending in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.


Seasonally adjusted retail spending was $26.99 billion, up from $26.89 billion in September, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday.

Online retail accounted for 5.9 per cent of total retail turnover in October, its highest level ever. A year ago, online sales just contributed 4.7 per cent to total retail.

This comes as traditional retailers are battling sluggish wages growth, mounting competition from online sellers including the first year of e-commerce behemoth Amazon in Australia and rising bricks and mortar rental costs.

The figures are a positive note following Wednesday's flatter-than-expected GDP data, where falling house prices, the wage stagnation and tighter lending standards were credited for a weaker-than-expected 0.3 per cent economic growth in the September quarter.

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