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Australian retail sales surge record 16.3% in May: ABS

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Australian retail sales surged a record 16.3 per cent in May as a wide scale easing in coronavirus lockdowns allowed entire sectors to re-open, enabling a recovery from an historic plunge in April.

[SYDNEY] Australian retail sales surged a record 16.3 per cent in May as a wide scale easing in coronavirus lockdowns allowed entire sectors to re-open, enabling a recovery from an historic plunge in April.

The stunningly strong bounce suggests consumer spending will be not nearly as weak as first feared in the June quarter, offering hope the economy can recover quickly from its first recession in three decades.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday reported its preliminary estimate of retail sales jumped 16.3 per cent seasonally adjusted in May, from April when it tumbled 17.7 per cent. Sales were also up 5.3 per cent on May last year at A$28.83 billion (S$27.56 billion).

There were large rises for household goods, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services.

Sales have swung wildly in recent months, first jumping in March on panic buying ahead of the lockdowns, before collapsing in April when much of the economy closed down.

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REUTERS

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