Australian June retail sales rise 2.4% m/m, extend strong rebound

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian retail sales climbed 2.4% in June, a strong outcome given it followed a record 16.9% surge in May as the economy continued to re-open from coronavirus lockdowns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday reported its preliminary estimate of retail sales rose to A$29.7 billion ($21.19 billion) in June, up a robust 8.2% on the same month last year. That compared with average annual growth of just 2.7% in 2019.

There were large increases in turnover in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing.

The ABS said that late in June there was some evidence of stockpiling of goods such as toilet paper, flour, rice and pasta. A new outbreak of the virus was gaining pace in Victoria in late June which eventually saw Melbourne locked down again.

Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Jacqueline Wong