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Online Retail Turnover in November "Highest Level Recorded"

13 January 2019

This fall is partly due to high sales in November 2017 when there were major mobile phone launches.

It was certainly a significant jump compared to the same period a year ago (November 2017), when online sales were 5.5 per cent of total turnover.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia's retail sales report reveals turnover lifted to 0.4% in November coming in higher than forecasts.

Overall sales fell by 3 per cent on the previous year - more sharply than economists polled by Bloomberg had foreseen - after clocking two months of growth, including a modest 0.1 per cent rise in October.

The ABS noted that it was "highest level" of online retail sales figures it had ever collected.

November retail sales have beat analyst expectations, notching 0.4% growth versus 0.3% forecast.

E-retailers continue to boom, with online sales accounting for 6.6% of total sales during November, up from 5.9% in October.

The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.4% in November 2018.

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"Household goods retailing (1.2pc) led the rises, while there was also a notable rise for clothing, footwear and personal accessories retailing (1.5pc)", said Ben Faulkner, acting director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys at the ABS.

Turnover also increased by 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.1% respectively in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria, offsetting declines of 0.9% and 0.2% respectively in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Even after motor vehicles were taken out of the picture, sales were still down by 0.2 per cent. The steep slowdown, leaving annual growth in sales at the weakest level since May past year, reflects the high base effect created by a huge 1.2% increase in turnover that occurred in November 2017.

Meanwhile, the sales of food and beverage services increased 2.4 percent year-on-year and 1.7 percent month-on-month.

November turned out to be a solid month for retailers, as shoppers brought forward their Christmas spending.

This news comes after data from ShopperTrak and Citi Research indicated that in-store foot traffic over the Black Friday shopping weekend was down by an estimated eight to nine percent, with online shopping events like Click Frenzy instead luring customers online.

The reversal in non-food sales in 2017 was even more acute with November's 2.1% gain followed up by a 1.4% plunge in December.

Online Retail Turnover in November