Data Snapshot - Retail Sales - Victoria Takes the Lead as Spending Surges

Good afternoon,

  • Victoria led the way as retail sales surged 7.3% over November. Retail sales were 20.4% above pre-pandemic levels and are now well-above pre-pandemic levels in all states and territories.
  • The result is the largest monthly jump in retail sales since May 2020, following the end of the national lockdown. It reflects the continued release of pent-up demand after NSW, Victoria and the ACT emerged from lockdown at different stages during October.
  • The result was driven by a boom in Victoria. Retail sales jumped a staggering 20.0% over the month - the second highest monthly increase in the history of the series.
  • Spending on clothing, footwear and personal accessories and in department stores surged by 38.2% and 26.0%, respectively. Shoppers locked in spending in November to get ahead of the Christmas rush and ensure products would arrive in time, amid supply-chain disruptions.
  • As is common following the end of lockdowns, food retailing fell 2.5%, as consumers shifted towards dining out, rather than at home. Indeed, spending on cafes, restaurants and catering services surged 17.1% over the month.
  • The emergence of Omicron poses a risk to retail spending. Spending may be impacted in coming months as households exercise caution regarding their activities to reduce the chance of contracting the virus. Staff availability and supply-chain disruptions have also impacted product availability and opening hours of some businesses during the holiday season and into January.


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