Australian retail sales advance, might prevent GDP decline
Australian retail sales soared to its highest level in March as the pandemic prompted people to purchase large volumes of food and other essentials. The increase might pull the economy from slipping to a sharp contraction in the first quarter.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed its initial estimate of retail sales and reported that the sector increased up to 8.2% in March. However, retail sales will likely plunge in April as strict pandemic measures and business shutdowns were imposed. Though this is the case, the boost in the first quarter is still timely.
The record surpassed the 8.1% increase in 2002 when consumers made large volumes of purchases ahead of goods and services tax. It also went beyond the estimates of economists while it supported sales to an all-time high of A$30 billion. February records showed that sales were up by A$2.28 billion, adding a 0.5 percentage point to the country’s gross domestic product.