Victoria spending declined by two thirds – Media Release

September 4, 2020

LOCKDOWNS HITS VICTORIAN HOSPITALITY AS NATIONAL RETAIL TRADE IMPROVES – COSBOA

Fresh data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today shows Victorian café and restaurant spending has declined by two thirds on the February 2020 figures, as lockdowns continue to hit the hospitality industry.

Spending in June fell to $238.9 million, compared to $615.1 million in February this year.  Nationally, hospitality saw better results with an increase of 4.9 per cent.

This comes as the national seasonally adjusted retail trade estimate rose 3.2 percent in July.

COSBOA Chief Executive, Peter Strong said, “There are some promising signs but it’s important to remember that retailers are a long way off where they were 12 months ago.

“Retail small businesses are a huge employer of Australians, especially young people. If retailers thrive, communities thrive – partly because they give young people a start in the workforce.

“Border closures and other restrictions are suffocating many Australian small businesses. Restaurants, cafes, tourist operators, even bookkeepers and in some places, tradies, have lost customers and visitors.

“It’s brutal out there. Consumers need to go local first and support their local small businesses in store and online to help them survive and keep job opportunities alive,’’ said Mr Strong.

NSW and the ACT, the two jurisdictions with open borders and the among the most relaxed restrictions in the country, saw the strongest retail trade growth of 5.9 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively. Queensland saw growth of 5 per cent, while WA, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia, and all saw growth around 4 per cent or less.

ENDS

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