The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its latest retail figures for January 2009, with the seasonally adjusted estimate increasing by 0.2 per cent in January 2009.

This follows increases of 3.8 per cent in December and 0.4 per cent in November 2008. December 2008 had the largest monthly seasonally adjusted percentage increase since August 2000 following the introduction of the GST.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services performed best in January with a 2.3 per cent increase in growth, followed by food retailing (+1.5 per cent), clothing and soft good retailing (+0.8 per cent). Unfortunately, department stores and household good retailing had a drop in sales of 0.5 and 0.4 per cent respectively.

State wise, New South Wales (+1.9 per cent), South Australia (+0.1 per cent), Western Australia (+1.4 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (+1.5 per cent) all posted growth. Victoria (-1.8 per cent) and Tasmania (-2.9 per cent) had the largest declines, while Queensland had no change.