CANBERRA, AAP – The recent buoyancy of retail spending could be curtailed in the near team by the spread of COVID-19 lockdowns across the nation.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its final retail trade figures for May on Monday.
The preliminary number released last month showed national spending was limited to a mere 0.1 per cent growth in the month, dented by 1.5 per cent drop in Victoria as a result of the start of its 14-day lockdown in Melbourne.
Looking ahead, Westpac economists expect the June result will include the full impact of the Melbourne lockdown, as well as the initial restrictions in Sydney that have subsequently extended into July.
Parts of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have also endured snap lockdowns in the past week.
Retail spending was expected to be a key plank of Australia’s recovery, aided by record low interest rates, the wealth impact of rising house prices and the accumulation of savings during the pandemic.
The ABS will also release building approvals for May.
There is a wide range of forecasts with there still being some uncertainty what the end of the federal government’s HomeBuilder grants program may have had on approvals.
The HomeBuilder scheme officially ended in March, although the deadline to begin construction runs for an additional 12 months.
Economists forecasts range from a 12 per cent fall to a five per cent rise after the 8.6 per cent decline in April.