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Retail sales for May 2024

Faint pulse emerging

03 July 2024

Australian retail sales rose 2.1% year-on-year in May 2024, which is the best underlying rate of growth since November 2023. The glass half-full would suggest we may be past the trough for retail. The glass half-empty is that the rate of growth is still very weak and indicative of per capita declines in retail volumes. We do think we are now past the trough in volumes, but we don’t expect a swift recovery in retail spending.

Retail Mosaic Issue 8

The impact of immigration on retail

15 March 2024

Australia’s population growth tends to be higher than other developed countries, supported by higher net migration. In Issue 8 of The Retail Mosaic, we analyse the impact net migration has on retail spending, which categories tend to benefit most and which retailers are best located for migration growth. We find that migrants tend to spend more on food and fashion. Retailers that are best located include Super Retail Group’s Macpac and Rebel Sport. JB Hi-Fi and Bunnings also have store locations that provide a greater contribution from population growth.

Travel bug starting to bite harder

The implications for retail spending

04 July 2022

As we enter the northern hemisphere summer, Australians are embracing travel again, but tourism spending is still far below pre COVID-19 levels. The drag on retail as consumers reallocate spending remains modest. Data shows airline capacity for Australia is still 15% below pre COVID-19 levels at June 2022 and much lower than that for international flights. The switch from retail to travel is likely to peak in 2023, in our view, adding to the headwind for retail next year.


Chart: Index of quarterly spending March ’22 vs December ’19 (selected items)

Source: ABS, MST Marquee. Shows quarterly data, seasonally adjusted.

The Retail Mosaic Issue 2

The potential rebound in tourism and holidays

22 December 2021

Australians like to holiday both locally and overseas. With locked borders over 2020 and 2021, reduced tourism spend has been a source of savings and some of the spare cash has also made its way into retail. As tourism recovers, will retail sales slow? In Issue 2 of The Retail Mosaic, we analyse the change in tourism spending over recent years and assess the possible recovery path and its impact on retail. The good news for retailers is that any recovery in tourist spending is likely to be gradual and centre on domestic trips. Given almost half of spending by tourists while on domestic holidays is in retail stores, then the recovery in holidays may prove to be a smaller drag on retail than some fear

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