Since May 2010, South Australia's monthly retail spending has lagged behind national spending, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The trend estimate of the monthly retail turnover for South Australia decreased by 0.2 per cent in January 2011, while the national estimate was flat at 0.0 per cent.

In February, March and April 2010, South Australia's monthly retail spending was higher than national figures, but since then, the state has fallen behind the national rates and shown negative growth since July 2010.

South Australia's negative growth fell to a peak of negative 0.3 per cent in September and October 2010. It has remained constant at negative 0.2 per cent for the past three months. In comparison, the Australian level has remained flat at 0.0 per cent growth for the five months to January 2011.

For the period of negative monthly growth for South Australia's retail turnover, which was between July 2010 to January 2011, the main retail groups contributing to this decline were: clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing; department stores and food retailing.