Australia retail sales rise 7.1% as Melbourne trade resumes

(BLOOMBERG) – Australian household spending jumped in November as the southeastern state of Victoria was released from lockdown and consumers took advantage of discounts during annual Black Friday sales.

Retail sales advanced 7.1 per cent from a month earlier, compared with the 7 per cent gain forecast by economists and the 7 per cent reported in late December as the preliminary figure, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Monday (Jan 11).

The gain was driven by Victoria – up 22.4 per cent – as Melbourne stores were able to trade for a full month, the ABS said. Excluding Victoria, sales rose 2.6 per cent.

The release of new games consoles and Apple ‘s new iPhones added to sales in household goods and other retailing, while Black Friday sales contributed to the increase across a number of industries, the ABS said in a statement.

Australia’s economy has been recovering rapidly since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in Victoria and its state capital, Melbourne, with consumer confidence and hiring surging. The data precede a recent outbreak in Sydney and isolated cases in other states, however.

Online sales made up 11 per cent of total retail turnover in November, up from 10.4 per cent in October, the ABS said.

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