Retail sales figures ticked higher in June, up 2.7% according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures released today.

It follows three months of extreme volatility that led to two record monthly gains and one record monthly decline of 17.9%.

Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys Ben James said this followed a rise of 16.9% in May 2020.

"The June month saw the continued recovery of industries impacted by trading restrictions in April and early May," Mr James said. 

"There were large month-on-month rises in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (27.9%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (20.5%)."

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                                Food sales (0.9%) was lifted by a rise in sales in Victoria at the end of the month as panic buying on groceries resumed amid stage four lockdowns. 

                                Spending in department stores fell 12.1% followed by household goods (3.2%). 

                                Online sales remained high, making up 9.7% of total retail sales in June. 

                                The June result beat forecasts of a 2.4% rise, but retail volumes still contracted by 3.4%.

                                Mr James said this was the biggest fall in seasonally adjusted retail volumes since the introduction of GST in 2000.

                                "The quarterly fall was driven by falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-29.1%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-22.0%), which both saw very large falls in April," he said.

                                "There were also falls in food retailing (-1.6%) following a March quarter rise, and Other retailing (-0.7%)."

                                The ABS said the falls were slightly offset by a rise in household goods retailing (14.6%), with increased consumer demand for furniture, electrical goods and hardware.