By Aimee Chanthadavong

Further results indicating things may finally be looking up for the retail sector has been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The ABS retail trade figures show Australian turnover rose 0.5 per cent in October 2013, seasonally adjusted, following a rise 0.9 per cent in September 2013.

The main drivers for the rise were food retailing (0.5 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.2 per cent), other retailing (0.5 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.6 per cent).

National Retail Association chief executive Trevor Evans has hailed the rise as the best consecutive growth in six years since July to Septmeber 2007 – in the final months of the Howard government.

“These figures show that retail continues to find its way out of a six-year slump, and point to a better Christmas trading period compared to recent years,” he said.

“While there have been individual months over the last six years where total sales spiked, there has not been a consistent trend as evident as there is today.

“Feedback from our members indicated that sales volumes were soft in early October, but recovered during the final two weeks – particularly discretionary categories such as fashion and household goods.”

On a state level, a majority delivered positive results, including New South Wales (0.7 per cent), Victoria (0.3 per cent), Queensland (0.4 per cent), Western Australia (0.6 per cent), Tasmania (1.3 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (1.4 per cent).

Through the year, Australian retail turnover rose 3.6 per cent in October 2013, seasonally adjusted, compared to October 2012.