Why are ASX 200 retail shares climbing on Friday?

There’s good news in the latest retail trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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Key points

  • Aussies forked out nearly $34 billion on retail purchases last month, a 0.9% increase on the month prior and 9.6% more than they did in April 2021
  • The increase was led by spending on food, as well as clothing and footwear while cash dropped on household goods slipped 2.7% over the month
  • The news might be helping bolster the ASX 200 consumer discretionary sector and the retail shares that call it home on Friday

It’s a good day to be an S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) retail share after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) dropped its latest retail trade data.

Australian retail turnover rose 0.9% in April – the fourth month in a row the measure has risen. In fact, Aussies spent a whopping $33.9 billion online and in stores last month amid inflationary pressures.

The news has likely helped bolster the S&P/ASX 200 Consumer Discretionary Index (ASX: XDJ) today. It’s currently 1.9% higher, driven by some of its most renowned retail shares.

Meanwhile, the ASX 200 is currently up 1.09%.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on with ASX 200 retail shares on Friday.

ASX 200 retail shares take off on Friday

ASX 200 retailers are among the market’s leaders today amid news Australia’s retail turnover has increased 9.6% over the 12 months ended April 2022.

Clothing and footwear retailers recorded one of the biggest increases last month, lifting 3.1%.

That’s likely good news for ASX 200 shares City Chic Collective Ltd (ASX: CCX) and Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV). Indeed, their share prices have gained 6.42% and 1.83% on Friday.

Meanwhile, the retailing category — into which a lot of Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL)’s business falls – lifted 0.5% last month. The company’s stock is currently enjoying a 1.3% gain.

It wasn’t such a pretty picture for companies selling household goods, however.

Sales for goods sold by the likes of JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) and Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) slumped 2.7% in April but the company’s share prices, thankfully, haven’t received the memo. They’ve gained a respective 3.44% and 1.39% at the time of writing.

Conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) – the company behind retail giants Bunnings, Officeworks, and Kmart – is also in the green today. Its stock has gained 1.65% right now.

The biggest increase in spending exhibited by Aussies last month was on food. Spending on food retailing and cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services rose 1.9% and 3.3% respectively.

“The strength in retail turnover is being driven by spending across the food industries,” ABS director of quarterly economy-wide statistics Ben James said.

“High food prices have combined with increased household spending over the April holiday period as more people are travelling, dining out, and holding family gatherings.”

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. and Super Retail Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd., Super Retail Group Limited, and Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Premier Investments Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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