Australia sees decline in June retail sales
Retail sales in Australia fell in June due to lower demand driven by COVID-19 lockdowns and mobility restrictions, an indication that the economy slowed in the third quarter.
Preliminary figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed retail’s biggest drop this year, with a decline of 1.8% from a month earlier.
Victoria and Sydney, two of Australia’s most populous states, were placed under lockdown in June in weeding out highly infectious Covid-19 Delta variant. Meanwhile, other states and territories implemented more relaxed lockdown, but inter-state travel was still affected.
ABS data showed Victoria recorded the biggest decline, with a 3.5% drop after its fourth lockdown in May. New South Wales accounted for a 2% slump, while Queensland’s stay-at-home policy resulted in significantly lower sales.
Sales were not expected to improve in July following a month-long extension of lockdown in Sydney and mobility restrictions until July 27 in Victoria.