A preliminary estimate of Australian retail sales shows an 8.2% increase in March compared with February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The increase would be the largest seasonally adjusted increase ever released, as Australians prepared for movement restrictions in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Monthly sales have doubled for products such as toilet paper and tissue paper, rice and pasta, according to the ABS.
Sales were also strong in the home office item retail sector. These increases were slightly offset by large declines in sectors such as cafes, restaurants and take-out food services, as well as in the retail sale of clothing, footwear and personal accessories, which suffered from the new social distancing regulations introduced in March.
Write to James Glynn at [email protected]
Dow Jones Press Wire