The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows April retail turnover was unchanged following a 0.4% rise in March 2023 and a 0.2% lift in February 2023. Australian consumers facing high living costs and rising interest rates have cut back on spending on food and dining out.
Food-related spending declined with cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services recording a 0.2% fall in April while food retailing was down 0.1%, recording its first dip after 13 consecutive monthly increases. Spending on eating out remains at a particularly high level despite the fall in April with turnover up 13.3% compared to this time last year. Across the states, WA recorded retail sales growth of 1% in April while turnover in Tasmania dropped 15% in April, followed by dips in Victoria (-0.1%), NSW (-0.4%) and the ACT (0.1%). In South Australia retail sales grew 0.6% in April, attributed to sporting events.