Retail turnover in Australia dropped by 0.2% in October 2023, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This comes after retail turnover growth of 0.2% and 0.9% in August and September respectively.

During September, the food retail industry was the only business to deliver growth with a 0.5% increase in sales.

Among non-food industries, retail turnover for clothing, footwear and personal accessories registered the sharpest decline at 1.0%, followed by household goods’ retailing and department stores which recorded a decline of 0.6% each.

Retail turnover for other retailing decreased by 0.4%.

ABS retail statistics head Ben Dorber stated: “Retail turnover fell in October after a short-lived boost in spending in September. Turnover was down in all retail categories except food retailing.

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By GlobalData

“It looks like consumers hit the pause button on some discretionary spending in October, likely waiting to take advantage of discounts during Black Friday sales events in November. This is a pattern we have seen develop in recent years as Black Friday sales grow in popularity.”

Retail sales for cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services fell for the second consecutive month at 0.4%.

Ben Dorber added: “Spending in cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services has slowed in recent months in response to rising food prices and cost-of-living pressures. It is now back to a similar level to what we saw in July 2023.”

Regionally, five states and territories recorded a fall in retail turnover, with Victoria posting a 0.8% decline and New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory both recording a 0.5% decline during the month.