Consumers spent $19.35 billion on household goods, clothing, and at cafes and restaurants in April, according to ABS retail trade figures.
The strong result comes after a steady dropping of in interest rates and petrol prices since last year.
Two federal government stimulus packages – announced in October and February – handed out $52b to Australian taxpayers, and also helped.
Below is an ABS summary of the April 2009 statistics:
The seasonally adjusted estimate increased by 0.3% in April 2009. This follows an increase of 2.2% in March 2009 and a decrease of 2.0% in February 2009.
In original terms, Australian turnover decreased by 0.8% in April 2009 compared with March 2009. There was no percentage change for Chains and other large retailers (which are completely enumerated), while the estimate for ‘smaller’ retailers decreased by 2.3%. Australian turnover increased by 7.2% in April 2009 compared with April 2008. Chains and other large retailers increased by 10.4%, while the estimate for ‘smaller’ retailers increased by 2.0%.
In seasonally adjusted terms, industries that had an increase in April 2009 were – Clothing and soft good retailing (+0.8%), Household good retailing (+3.9%) and Other retailing (+0.1%), while the Food retailing (-0.2%), Department stores (-2.8%) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.5%) industries had a decrease.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the following states had an increase in retail turnover in April 2009 – New South Wales (+1.3%), Queensland (+0.8%), Tasmania (+0.5%) and the Australian Capital Territory (+0.9%). Victoria was virtually unchanged, while South Australia (-0.1%), Western Australia (-2.4%) and the Northern Territory (-4.6%) all decreased in April 2009.