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Retail turnover spikes as Australians spend big in November

National retail turnover in November 2020 rose by over 13 per cent compared with the year before as Australia’s domestic economic recovery continues.

Business Jotham Lian 11 January 2021
— 1 minute read

The latest figures from the Australia Bureau of Statistics found that retail turnover rose by 7.1 per cent month-on-month, following a rise of 1.4 per cent in October 2020.


Australians spent $31.6 million in the month before Christmas, well above pre-pandemic figures.

Melbourne’s exit from lockdown drove the surge of spending with a 22.4 per cent increase, while other states and territories contributed an average of 2.6 per cent.

“The rise is led by Victoria as Melbourne retail stores were able to trade for a full month in November,” said ABS’ director of quarterly economy-wide surveys, Ben James.

November’s strong figures also coincided with the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales ahead of the festive period, as well as the release of new game consoles and new iPhones, the ABS noted.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing saw the biggest rise at 26.7 per cent, followed by department stores at 21.1 per cent, with household goods retailing rising by 12.7 per cent.

Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services also rose by 6.7 per cent, but food retailing fell by 0.3 of a percentage point.

Online sales continued its strong run, making up 11 per cent of total retail turnover in November 2020, compared with 7.2 per cent in November 2019.

The latest results come as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed that personal income tax cuts had resulted in $7 billion being retained by close to 8 million taxpayers after it was rushed through the third quarter of 2020.

“$7 billion has flowed through the tax cuts to the pockets of Australian families over the last six months and more than $1 billion a month will be flowing over the next nine months,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Household consumption has had a big lift directly as a result of the restrictions coming off, but also with confidence coming back.

“Consumer and business confidence are now back at its pre-COVID levels, and that’s a very positive sign.”

Retail turnover spikes as Australians spend big in November
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.