The measure used was real (inflation-adjusted) retail trade in seasonally adjusted terms with June quarter data the
latest available.

Victoria leads on ‘real’ retail spending

A solid job market, record wealth, elevated home purchases, excess household savings and strong construction and
renovation activity have supported retail spending over the past quarter. Spending has lifted despite weak consumer
sentiment, cost of living pressures and higher interest rates.

Victoria again leads the way on retail spending, up 18.7 per cent in the June quarter from its decade-average levels.

Queensland remains in second place with spending


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18.5 per cent above its ‘normal’ levels or the decade average. Moving from fifth to third spot is Tasmania with real spending up 15.8 per cent above decade-average levels.

NSW remains in fourth position, with spending 15.1 per cent up on ‘normal’ levels.

The ACT is now in fifth position (down from third) with spending up 14.2 per cent on the long-term average.

At the other end of the rankings, Northern Territory spending was up 1.5 per cent on the decade average, behind South Australia (up 11.4 per cent) and Western Australia (up 13.9 per cent).

Victoria has the fastest annual growth

In terms of annual growth of real retail trade, Victoria is also the strongest (up 7.8 per cent), ahead of Queensland
(up 6.0 per cent) and Western Australia (up 5.2 per cent).

At the other end of the scale, retail spending in Northern Territory was down 2.3 per cent, behind the ACT (up 0.1 per cent) and Tasmania (up 1.3 per cent).

If monthly retail trade was assessed instead to calculate the rankings (August data is available), Victoria would still be in top spot, ahead of Queensland, the ACT and NSW.

In August, annual spending growth was fastest in the ACT (up 32.3 per cent), off a low base due to pandemic lockdowns in 2021

Originally published by Craig James, Chief Economist and Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist – CommSec