Restaurant sales on the rise, but low inflation hurts food retail figures

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd December 2009

The latest ABS retail trade figures show that sales in October rose 0.3%, seasonally adjusted, with Cafes, Restaurants & Takeaway Food Services (+1.1%) the second best performing sector. The news caps a reasonably good run for restaurants and takeaway outlets over the past few months as the economic recovery leads to more Australians going out for dinner.

Food retailing, which includes supermarkets, bakers and fresh food stores, saw seasonally adjusted sales fall 0.1%, however. Low inflation and, in some cases, deflation have hurt sales figures in this sector in recent months. The most recent inflation data from the ABS showed deflation of 0.8% in food prices for the September quarter and today’s retail report combined with recent discussion from major manufacturers and retailers suggests that inflation remains subdued.