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The retail sector experienced a 0.4 per cent rise in turnover in August according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This rise follows a 0.1 per cent decline in turnover in July.

ABS director of quarterly economy wide surveys Ben James said that the majority of the segments the Bureau tracks experienced rises in August.

"Food retailing (0.4 per cent) led the rises, while there were also rises in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.8 per cent), department stores (1.1 per cent), household goods retailing (0.3 per cent), and other retailing (0.3 per cent).

"The rises were partly offset by a fall in cafes, restaurants and takeaway services (-0.3 per cent)," he said.

Online retailing contributed 6.2 per centof total retail turnover in August, a 0.6 per cent rise on its contribution to total retail turnover in August 2018.

Across Australia there were rises in Queensland (0.8 per cent), New South Wales (0.3 per cent), Victoria (0.3 per cent), South Australia (0.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (1.9 per cent), and Tasmania (0.2 per cent).

Meanwhile there were minor falls in Western Australia (-0.1 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-0.1 per cent).

CEO of the National Retail Association Dominique Lamb said that the figures are looking positive but encouraged consumers to continue spending into the Christmas period.

"The August results are a big improvement on July, with rises in turnover recorded across all industries bar one.

"Several economic levers have been pulled in recent months – such as cuts to income tax and interest rates – to lift retail out of its slumber and the results indicate that things may be starting to slowly turnaround.

"Retail is certainly not out of the woods and consumer confidence still needs to lift, but the August figures certainly represent a positive sign.

"As we head into the Christmas period, the NRA certainly urges Aussies to spend any extra money they’ve received via tax cuts or the drop in interest rates at their local retail outlet," she said.

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