June 4, 2020 / 1:44 AM / a month ago

Australia April retail sales post record slump, in bad omen for Q2 GDP

SYDNEY, June 4 (Reuters) - Australian retail sales suffered a historic plunge in April as much of the country was locked down to combat the coronavirus, in a sign the economy is set to suffer its largest contraction on record in the current quarter.

Retail sales slumped a seasonally adjusted 17.7% in April, its biggest ever, from an 8.5% jump in March, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed on Thursday.

“There were record falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-35.4%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-53.6%), as well as a large fall in department stores (-14.9%),” the ABS said. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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