Urbis Think Tank
Non food retailing in Tasmania and SA are in recession
Yesterday the ABS released the monthly retail trade data. Australia’s retail trade for October 2011 was up 2.2% on October 2010. Food retailing was up 4.2% while non food was weak with only a 1.2% gain on last year. The result was supported by a very strong result in WA (up 6.0% on Oct 10) and above average growth in Victoria (up 3.4%) and Qld (up 2.6%).
However, at the other end of the scale, Tasmania and South Australia are in retail recessions, particularly in the non food sector.
SA suffered a 5.7% fall in non food retail in October 2011 (vs Oct 2010). That’s the worst decline since March 1997. Like the rest of Australia, department store sales were down. However, sales also fell in clothing (-16%), other recreational goods (-9.6%), Furniture, Floor Covering, Housewares and textiles (-4.4%), electrical and electronics (-12%) and Hardware, Building and Garden Supplies (-9.2%).
While the SA result for October was the weakest across the country, Tasmania is gripped in a long term retail depression. Month on corresponding month sales for non-food have declined for 18 out of the past 22 months. While the 1.9% decline in October 2011 (vs Oct 10) was relatively mild, it reversed the positive trend of the previous two months.
The areas of decline in Tasmania are different to SA. Clothing retailing is actually performing very well in Tassie, up 36.6% in October. And “other recreational goods” was up 20%, continuing a 13 month run of gains. The big losses have been in Hardware, Building and Garden Supplies (-20%), electrical and electronics (-13.4%), Furniture, Floor Covering, Housewares and textiles (-15%), Footwear and accessories (-15%).