THE Australian retail sector eked out its first positive trading performance in three months through May, but sales in ACT continue to fall.
Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed overall retail trade for Australia lifted by 0.1 per cent in the month the Reserve last cut rates.
It was the first time since February that the bureau had reported a lift in monthly retail sales.
The state which was the largest contributor to the rise was Western Australia (1.6 per cent) followed by Queensland (0.5 per cent), South Australia (0.6 per cent), Tasmania (0.6 per cent) and the Northern Territory (0.8 per cent). These rises were largely offset by falls in the ACT (by -1.7 per cent), New South Wales (-0.4 per cent) and Victoria (-0.3 per cent).
Over the longer term, New South Wales remains the strongest contributor to growth (up 0.4 per cent in trend terms).
Throughout the year, Australian retail turnover rose 2.3 per cent in May 2013, seasonally adjusted, compared to May 2012.