Monthly retail turnover beat expectations in May 2018, rising by +0.4 per cent to a fresh high of $26.7 billion, seasonally adjusted, a rare second consecutive beat on market expectations.
The April result had been dampened by unusually warm weather, although the result for the prior month was revised up to +0.5 per cent.
In any case, the impacted industries rebounded in May, particularly department stores (+3.9 per cent), and clothing and footwear (+2.2 per cent).
The ABS reported significant turnover gains in New South Wales (0.5 per cent), Queensland (0.4 per cent), South Australia (1.1 per cent), Tasmania (1.5 per cent), and the Northern Territory (0.4 per cent), with the ACT flat.
Victoria has been a solid performer over the past year, with Western Australia languishing.
There is still evidence of price discounting around, but a new GST on low value imported goods from July 1 may provide a little support to prices.
On the other hand online retail turnover increased to 5.6 per cent of total retail turnover, up from just 3.9 per cent a year earlier.
With Amazon Prime set to cut further into retailer margins, there seems top be little prospect of significant consumer price pressures arising from the retail sector.