In current price seasonally adjusted terms, Australian turnover increased by 2.2 per cent in March 2009 after decreasing by a similar amount in February and increasing for the previous four months including a 3.8 per cent increase in December 2008, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Consumers spent a massive $19.3 billion in March, as the Rudd Government started to roll out the cash handouts, and the industries with the largest seasonally adjusted increases in March 2009 also had large increases in December 2008 and large decreases over the previous two months.
Department stores increased by 13.2 per cent in March 2009, 8.3 per cent in December 2008 and decreased by 0.5 per cent and 9.8 per cent in January and February 2009, respectively.
Clothing and soft good retailing increased by 6.4 per cent in March 2009, 5.8 per cent in December 2008 and 0.8 per cent in January 2009 and decreased by 2.7 per cent in February.
Further, food retailing increased 0.4 per cent, household good retailing 1.3 per cent, other retailing grew by 1.5 per cent and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services increased 1.4 per cent.
In seasonally adjusted terms, all states, except the Australian Capital Territory (-0.1 per cent), had an increase in March 2009 – New South Wales (+1.2 per cent), Victoria (+2.7 per cent), Queensland (+3.2 per cent), South Australia (+2.4 per cent), Western Australia (+2.2 per cent), Tasmania (+2.2 per cent), while the big spenders were in the Northern Territory, with an increase of +4.2 per cent.
In original terms, Australian turnover increased by 12.2 per cent in March 2009 compared with February 2009. Chains and other large retailers (which are completely enumerated) increased by 13.9 per cent, while the estimate for ‘smaller’ retailers increased by 9.5 per cent.