The third quarter of 2016 was pretty much a write-off for economic growth in Australia.
The fourth quarter seems to have gotten off to a brighter start, with retail turnover increasing by +0.5 per cent to a record $25.6 billion.
This follows on from a +0.6 per cent increase in September, so things appear to be looking up.
Total industry retail turnover was up by +3.5 per cent over the year to October.
Queensland had seen some unusual looking results in recent months, but retail turnover bounced back to increase by +0.8 per cent in October.
With the exception of South Australia, all states saw an increase in turnover in the month.
Year-on-year retail turnover growth in Queensland is now the second strongest in the nation, with all states and territories now in the black.
Nowhere can touch the Australian Capital Territory, though, where annual growth has surged to +8.3 per cent (see here for why)
While department stores are hurting, cafes, restaurants and takeaways have seen turnover rise inexorably, up by another +7.3 per cent over the year to October.
The sector now accounts for a seventh of total retail turnover on the ABS series, an unprecedented high.
Back-to-back strong reports for retail trade, suggesting that consumption in the economy could experience a reasonably good run-in to Christmas.