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June Retail sales data shows consumer rebound still strong

Colliers Head of Retail Michael Bate discusses the NAB Economy Watch data released July 22nd:

“The June Retail sales data shows that the consumer rebound is still strong; the NAB Economy Watch data released yesterday showed preliminary retail sales rose 2.4% month on month.”

“These positive numbers were also reflected across the Colliers retail management portfolio here in Australia. In May retail sales had a massive 16.9% rebound and together with the preliminary June numbers meant that the level of sales were now 7% above pre virus data.”

“The big category winners continued to be supermarkets and takeaway food services which included Cafes and Restaurants’. This was supported with lockdown laws being relaxed further at the end of May and throughout June as more and more people emerged from the virus hibernation.”

Key data included in NAB’s Economy Watch includes:

AUS: Retail sales rise 2.4% in June and are 7% above pre-pandemic levels.
June preliminary retail sales rose 2.4% m/m to be 8.2% higher y/y (Chart 1). 
The strong rise in June comes after the sharp 16.9% rebound in May and takes the level of retail sales 7% above pre-virus levels (Chart 2). The ABS notes the rise in retail sales. was led by ‘cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services’ (>20% m/m) and ‘clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing’ (around 19% m/m). 
The easing of containment measures throughout May and early June saw sharp increases in activity in these sectors, although turnover in these sectors are still below the levels of June last year (turnover in ‘cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services’ is still -17% y/y). 
Taking the preliminary monthly number suggests retail sales for the June quarter fell -2.4% given the sharp fall in April (and the sharp rise in March associated with stockpiling). The implications for consumption are less clear with retail sales giving little hint of the amount spent on areas not covered by the retail trade survey (Chart 4). 

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Michael Bate

Head of Retail


My professional knowhow stems from an extensive career in retail property development, project leasing, site acquisition and disposals and property management.

I joined Colliers International after holding the position of National Business Manager for Stockland Commercial for 9 years. During this time I was responsible for the acquisition and disposal of just over $750M worth of Retail and Commercial assets.

Prior to my Capital Transactions role in Commercial Property, I was the Regional General Manager Leasing for the Stockland Shopping Centre portfolio.

Prior to Stockland, I was the National Leasing Manager for Lend Lease Retail here in Australia. I worked on some of Australia’s leading Retail projects including, Casuarina Darwin, Melbourne Central, Sunshine Plaza and Smithfield in QLD and Woden in the ACT. I was the Lend Lease Asset Manager for the Kiwi Income Fund and worked on several of their retail projects in New Zealand.

Prior to Lend Lease, I was a National Director with Jones Lang Wootton in both WA and NSW and ran the National Project Leasing team for again some of Australia’s best retail assets and Portfolios.

I also have a lengthy career in the media working for John Fairfax and Sons in TV and Radio for many years.

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