The cost of living crisis has not slowed retail spending, according to latest figures.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the retail turnover estimates for April and total industry turnover is up more than a billion dollars to $33.566b compared to $32.498b at the same time last year.

Expenditure has increased from April last year in all retail categories except the ‘household goods’ and ‘other’; this is despite the current cost of living crisis affecting the population’s disposable income levels.

Amy Muir is a mature age apprentice carpenter living in Menai. She said she was discouraged by the housing market and the cost of her everyday necessities.

“I get a pretty decent pay-check now and yet almost all of my money goes to rent, petrol, bills and the cheapest groceries I can find,” she said.

This April, Australian consumers spent most on food with 41 per cent of retail turnover attributable to the category.

The ‘cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services’ category was second with 15.4 per cent, closely followed by household goods with 15.3 per cent of the total industry turnover.

Wollongong receptionist, Mykala Godden said her priorities no longer include saving for a house because it feels hopeless.

“I mainly prioritise paying my bills and then using whatever is left to have some fun and spend time with friends,” she said.

Ms Godden said she felt like COVID-19 also had affected her spending habits.

“I feel like I prioritise going out with friends and doing things with people now even if it costs a little more because I couldn’t do that for so long,” she said.

“I did my budget and realised that I’ve spent over $600 on going out or take-away this month alone.”

In a media release, ABS Head of Retail Statistics Ben Dorber said, although the turnover in ‘cafe, restaurant and takeaway food services’ has fallen since last month, it remained at a “particularly high level … with turnover up 13.3 per cent compared to this time last year.”

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